FAQ Dam to the Bay

Q:  We are planning on running the Ochlockonee River the first part of May from the Dam down to the Gulf. It's just two of us so we are looking for some shuttle possibilities. 

 We paddle solo boats decked for wilderness tripping. Last year we paddled the headwaters of the Sweetwater River in the Windriver Range of the Rockies. Now we are looking for a mellow river this year. I'm from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We've got a bit of a drive ahead of us. Any links or names/numbers of folks that may be interested in running our vehicle to the takeout would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Jim.

A:  Hi Jim, Each time I’ve done the Ochlockonee it has either been just past flood stage or came into flood stage during the trip. This causes lots of static and moving debris in the river and also makes it hard to tell just where the river is.  If you’ve read my to trip reports you will see this and also know that two of our group got quite lost.  From what you describe of your planning for this and other trips, I assume that you are paddling canoes.  These are fine on the river but may be a challenge on the Bay (this is also described in the trip reports).  There is the option of Pulling out at Ochlockonee River Stat Park on the edge of the Bay if need be.  

I have several resources  for you.  You might want to launch from Ed & Bernice’s Fish Camp just below the Dam.  You can probably leave your cars there and shuttle back from your end point.  Or you could drop your cars at your end point (with park ranger’s permission)and shuttle yourselves and gear up to your launch point.  I did the latter, but seeing as how you would be heading north after your trip anyway, you might want to do the former.  Here is a link to an outfitter that might be willing to set up a shuttle for you: http://www.thewildernessway.net/ .  If you get a dead end with these links, try looking at the Ochlockonee River itinerary on the Paddle Florida website  or connecting Paddle Florida’s CEO, Bill Richards directly.

Hope this helps.  Let me know how the trip goes.

 © Don Yackel 2020