October 16, 2023
Photo gallery: Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia ’22 along Chattahoochee River
Note to readers: This weeklong gallery is the result of Georgia River Network’s Sarah Taylor’s diligence in filing photos of the day’s adventures. The photos are in chronological order, other than the lead image that shows activity on the most recent travel day.
By David Pendered
June 25 – All good things must come to an end – including the Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia ’22. The voyage ended with a celebration Friday in Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
About 40 individuals made the journey that started Sunday at Settles Bridge, in Gwinnett County, and ended on a riverbank near Newnan.
They covered 112 miles, brought Boy Scout Troop 1906 into the entourage on Monday, and picked up an array of debris – including a sizable amount of plastic that at some point and in some form would have made its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
Thursday offered moments of respite from the intense summer heat. Body surfing, floating in the river and stretches of shade beneath tree canopies marked a day that also offered more opportunities to collect trash.
Friday promised to be another warm day that’s to culminate with a celebration at the Chattahoochee Bend State Park, near Newnan. Once there, paddlers will have traversed 112 miles and spent a week with new friends who came from across Georgia and as far as Ohio to paddle the river with the Muscogee Nation’s name meaning Painted Rock.
Previously on the trip, Wednesday was trash collection day on the Georgia River Network’s paddle along a stretch of the Chattahoochee River between Smyrna and Chattahoochee Hills, where the group pulled into to camp for the night. Paddlers recovered items ranging from baby shoes to block of Styrofoam and an orange traffic cone that had found their way into the river.
The Chatthoochee Riverkeeper facilitated the trash clean-up portion of the event. On Thursday, the trip is slated to continue toward a camp site in Coweta County.
This photo gallery will feature highlights of the Georgia River Network’s 112-mile trip along the Chattahoochee River. Check back daily for new images.
These pictures will offer a glimpse of the seven-day journey that started Sunday in Gwinnett County, at Settles Bridge, and is to end in Heard County, in the upper reaches of West Point Lake. Boy Scout Troop 1906 joined the entourage Monday, for a one-day adventure.
The trip will provide an up-close-and-personal view of the river’s potential as an enormous blue- and greenspace project. This is the grand vision of the long-range plan for the Chattahoochee RiverLands project, which was initiated by the Trust for Public Land.
The long-range plan calls for a network of parks and trails to flank 100 miles of riverfront. Additional boat launches and paddle-in campsites to increase access to a river that takes its name from the Muscogee words for “painted rock.” The scarcity of access is evidenced in the ramp that Chattahoochee Hills opened in 2020 as just the second public access south of Peachtree Creek.
“Improving recreational access to all of the state’s rivers is one of Georgia River Network’s primary goals,” Rena Peck, Georgia River Network executive director, said in a statement. “This trip shows the potential for river tourism in the corridor targeted by the RiverLands project.”
For the moment, join the Georgia River Network in a vicarious trip along the waterway.