Stories from the Oconee Basin

4/20/2012 - Tri-River Paddle: Oconee, Ocmugee, Altamaha  

This was a “three rivers” paddle with the GA Conservancy.  We camped overnight then paddled the Ocmulgee the next day to where it meets the Oconee to form the Altamaha.  There is something very inviting about paddling at the actual spot where a great river originates!  Most folks paddled through the confluence—which looks very much like a highway intersection, with three clearly delineated paths—and straight onto the Altamaha. But we wanted to have a true “three rivers” experience.  So off we went, upstream on the Oconee.  It was only half a mile or so, but since we spent a week on the Oconee last year on Paddle GA, we figured our old friend wouldn’t mind a brief visit. 

Suzi Parron

Mary Siceloff & Liz Williams' Paddle # 10... 

3/20/2012 - Oconee River

Paddle #4 - My fourth river to the Paddle 12 Rivers in 2012 challenge... this time in a new-to-me LiquidLogic Tuxedo -- I now have my own kayak! My maiden voyage in it, to celebrate the first day of spring, was March 20 on the North Oconee River. It was just a short jaunt, putting in at the College Avenue Bridge and paddling upstream to the Athens water intake dam and floating back. However, I plan to return to the North Oconee frequently -- I'm told that the section downstream from College Avenue to O'Malley's is even more scenic.

I'm attaching a photo showing the Tux the first time I got it wet, a picture of the intake dam and a photo of the smokestack or tower at the solid waste department that's visible as you head downstream approaching College Avenue.

Roger Nielsen

1/30/2012 – Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Altamaha Rivers

Here are some photos (see photos on Altamaha page) and a really short narrative for the first three of 12 rivers I paddled this year for the GRN Paddle 12 Rivers in 2012.

Our group of four kayakers, the Oconee Oarsome Expedition of 2012, paddled the lower Oconee, the lower Ocmulgee and the upper Altamaha on January 13-16, 2012. Joining me were Steve Craven, Brown Widener and Gary Crider, who also enrolled in the 12 in 12 challenge.

We put in January 13 on the Oconee at the U.S. 280 bridge just west of Mount Vernon, spent two nights camping on sandbars on the Oconee, then paddled to the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee. We paddled up the Ocmulgee to camp on a sandbar, then returned to the Forks and headed east on the Altamaha two miles to the take-out where U.S. 221 crosses the river at Terry Landing.

Weather was clear but cold. Water levels were low. So, sandbars lined the outside of nearly every bend. Firewood was abundant on the bars, so we stayed pretty warm. We saw and heard many bird species (kingfishers and great blue herons were common), heard beavers and saw their tracks, and saw lots of other wildlife sign. The Oconee has only one highway bridge between U.S. 280 and the Forks. Traffic noise was light. So, we really felt like we were in the backwoods.

Roger Nielsen

1/29/2012 - Oconee River

"The Smith-Elliott Family starts our 12 in 2012 with the North Oconee and the Oconee."

Stacy Smith - commented on Facebook's 12 in 12 event page