Georgia River Network on Columbus Day weekend for a voyage down
the Flint River that would fill Christopher Columbus with envy.
We’ll travel 48 miles from Baconton to Bainbridge taking
in the best of the Flint--beautiful blue hole springs, lively rapids,
rich history, abundant wildlife and more! Fashioned after our annual
week-long Paddle Georgia events, we will tent camp on the river
two nights at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat. Like our annual summer
adventure, we will enjoy catered meals,
educational programs and great camaraderie as we make our way down
one of Georgia's most beautiful rivers during a beautiful time
The trip coincides with continuing efforts to create the Flint
River Water Trail, a recreational boating trail spanning the length
of the river from near Jonesboro to Bainbridge, an improvement
now joined by needed efforts to clean up ongoing pollution problems
stemming from the City of Albany’s sewage system.
Recently, the city has been plagued by pump failures that have
caused spills of raw sewage into the Flint. Additionally, for years,
the city has struggled to control spills that occur when heavy
rains cause water to flow into sewer lines and result in overflows
into the river. All of these spills can create unhealthy conditions
for those who swim in the river or otherwise come in contact with
“While the river is ordinarily safe for boating, fishing
and swimming, these spills create uncertainty for river users,” said
Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers. “It is difficult to know
when a slug of polluted water is coming down river. This shouldn’t
have to be a consideration when planning trips on our river.”
To ensure not only a safe Fall Float, but also better information
for all river users all year long, Flint Riverkeeper began weekly
monitoring of bacterial levels on the lower Flint, from Albany
downstream, mid-July; Riverkeeper will continue the monitoring
for the foreseeable future including the days leading up to the
journey and during the journey to provide information about pollution
levels to participants.
“This is not a problem that is unique to the Flint," said
Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia Coordinator. "It’s a consideration
on virtually every river in the state. Part of the purpose of Georgia
River Network’s paddle trips is to bring attention to these
problems and encourage improvements so that all our rivers are
free from pollution 365 days a year.”
This trip highlights one of the most scenic sections of the river,
featuring lively shoals, limestone bluffs and beautiful blue hole
Paddle Georgia Fall Float on the Flint is
a Project of
Georgia River Network
in Partnership with
Official Video of Fall Float on the Flint River
The Flint river in South Georgia is
fed by massive underground aquifers and runs clear and cool. While other
South Georgia rivers offer up a plethora of sandbars and lazy bends,
the Flint flows between limestone bluffs, over shoals and between
picturesque islands. Along the way, crystal clear spring pools
bubble up to feed the river. Off river, we will have the opportunity
to learn more about the river and the region through tours of area
attractions and nightly activities at campsites that include entertainment,
games and programs highlighting the river’s cultural and
natural heritage. It’s every bit as much fun as the original
Paddle Georgia…just a wee bit shorter.
Paddle Georgia Fall Float on the Flint Itinerary on the Flint
Day 1, Oct. 6: Limestone Limbo - Baconton to Flint
River Retreat - 13 miles
Day 2, Oct. 7: Ichawaynochoway Waltz - Flint River Retreat to
Hoggard Mill Rd. - 17 miles
Day 3, Oct. 8: Blue Hole Bop - Hoggard Mill Rd. to Flint River
Heights Rd. - 17 miles
Day 1: Limestone Limbo
On this 13-mile jaunt, the Flint really shows off, offering up
the best of its surreal limestone bluffs, shoals, sycamores and
cypress. Gnarled roots of these trees wrap through holes in limestone,
stretching for the water as you paddle beneath these overhanging
shelves of ancient rock. Best of all, the paddle ends at our
campsite for the evening, a beautiful resort with plenty of campsites
and cabins for rent!
Day 2: Ichawaynochoway Waltz
This beautiful 17-mile paddle is a testament to the unique nature
of the Flint. In this stretch you will see just one tributary
enter the river—the stunningly beautiful and memorably
named Ichawaynochoway Creek. Here the river derives its flow
from hidden springs that feed its clear water. Otters frolic
in the shoals; bald eagles patrol the skies. Add to that the
wreckage of a steamboat and you have the makings of a watery
waltz you won’t soon forget.
Day 3: Blue Hole Bop
This 17-mile run is home to perhaps the most memorable blue holes
on our course—including a billowing pool of crystal clear
water nestled in the Baker County bank of the river known as
Bovine Spring. Here the river races due south to the Decatur
County line, flowing deeper and wider as it pushes further into
the Coastal Plain. The journey ends on the backwaters of Lake
Seminole formed by Jim Woodruff Dam at the Florida state line
some 30 miles downstream.
*Registration fees include all meals for three days!
Registration deadline - September 30
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people participate? 175 spots are available. Like our summer Paddle Georgia events, participants will range in age from 4 to 84 and come from all walks of life. But, they all have one thing in common—they love to paddle and they love Georgia rivers!
Can I go for just part of the trip? Yes, but all registration fees are the same, regardless of how many days you paddle. Those not paddling all three days must make their own shuttle and boat pick-up arrangements.
What does my registration fee include? Your Fall Float
the Flint registration fee includes a T-shirt, boat decal, maps and river descriptions,
a year’s membership to Georgia River Network, camping with bath facilities,
shuttles to campsites, entertainment, activities, and educational programs. Breakfast,
dinner and sack lunches are included in your registration fee. This includes
3 dinners for Oct. 5-7, 3 lunches for Oct. 6-8 and 3 breakfasts for Oct. 6-8. How much does it cost? How much would you pay for an all-inclusive educational adventure vacation? Famous theme parks would charge you hundreds, nay thousands. Georgia River Network’s natural Flint River theme park costs only $325 (with unlimited rides!). Registration fees are $325 for adults, $280 for children age 8-17, and $140 for children under 7. All meals are included. Participants garnering more than $650 in Canoe-a-thon donations may request to have their registration fees reimbursed.
How will the Fall Float be different from the summer Paddle Georgia trip? With the exception of a few bells and whistles, the Fall Float will be very similar to our annual Paddle Georgia event. Catered breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be provided, and Café Campesino will be on hand with coffee, tea and other refreshments. Our Rocky Ford Flint River Retreat campsite is tent camping only, however cabins are available for rent for additional fees. Transportation will be provided to and from launch sites/take outs and because we’re using the same campsite all three nights, you’ll have full access to your vehicle for the entirety of the trip.
What’s a Canoe-A-Thon? Like a walk-a-thon, Paddle
Georgia’s 2019 Canoe-A-Thon beginning Aug. 1 will raise money for Georgia
River Network. Each participant is asked to solicit donations on a per-mile
basis. Those participants generating more than $650 may choose to have their
Fall Float registration fee reimbursed, and the top Canoe-A-Thon fundraisers
automatically secure registration for Paddle Georgia 2019. Click
here for more details. Canoe-A-Thoners compete for gifts and prizes,
including new canoes and kayaks and other great goods from our sponsors. These
prizes will be awarded at Paddle Georgia 2019 (Canoe-a-thon participants do
not need to present to win these prizes). Participants
can sign-up and start raising funds Aug. 1.
Do I need to be an experienced paddler? You don’t need to be an expert, but you do need a little experience. If you are new to paddling, we ask that you take a basic canoeing or kayaking instruction class offered through the Georgia Canoe Association or other instructors.
What do I need to bring? You are responsible for bringing
a canoe or kayak, paddles and a personal floatation device. Georgia River Network
does not supply or rent boats. See our list of outfitters to secure your rental
boat for the week. Also bring standard camping gear including a tent and personal
items. Your boat should be of a size and weight that you and another person
Where do we camp? During the Fall Float on the Flint, we will camp at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat in Newton. This is a tent and RV camping only facility, but cabin rentals are available for additional fees directly from Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat. Indoor shower and toilet facilities will be available as will porta-toilets and heated outdoor showers.
Rental Cabins at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat
Limited space is available in rental cabins at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat. If you wish to reserve a private cabin, please contact Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat directly:
Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat
2909 Newton Highway
Newton, GA 39870
Prices range from $95-$180 per night.
Do I need to bring food? Breakfast, dinner and sack lunches are included in your registration fee, but participants may choose to bring their own food. Camilla, 12 miles to the east of our campsite, is the nearest supply point with grocery stores, restaurants and other amenities.
Where do I leave my car? You will have access to your car at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat for the entirety of the adventure. At the conclusion of the paddle, shuttle buses and a tractor trailer will bring you and your boat back to Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat where you will retrieve your vehicle, load your boat and return home.
Can I fish during Fall Float on the Flint? Yes, but you are responsible for obtaining appropriate licenses and understanding and following the proper rules and regulations.
Paddle Georgia Fall Float on the Flint Policies
For your safety and the safety of others.
1.) No alcoholic beverages will be allowed.
2.) All participants must attend the pre-launch safety briefing. Participants must adhere to the safety guidelines presented.
3.) Participants must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device at all times on the river.
4.) Participants under age 18 are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian.
5.) Sorry, no pets allowed.
6.) All participants must sign a Medical and Emergency Contact Information sheet and a Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability form. Parents must sign for children under the age of 18. (These forms will be sent in the information packet.)
7.) Person-powered watercraft only.
8.) All participants must respect private property along the river.
9.) All participants must have basic paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water.
10.) No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
11.) Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.
Violations of these policies can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.
Refund Policy Any registration cancellations made by September 30 will incur a 10% processing fee. After September 30, no refunds will be granted. If you have questions or need assistance, call our office at 706-549-4508.