040619_TCT_RiverAdventure

Paddlers drift by a bank of wild azalea during a previous Spring on the Satilla adventure. The two-day trip is one of several planned by Georgia River Network this year. / Contributed

Several residents of Gordon County will be among more than 100 canoeists and kayakers hailing from Georgia and five other southeastern states that will converge on the Satilla River in Camden and Charlton counties this weekend for a two-day, 21-mile journey organized by Georgia River Network and Satilla Riverkeeper.

Jerome Rademacher of Ranger and Melissa and Mason Ballard of Fairmount are set to participate in the fourth annual Paddle Georgia Spring on the Satilla that will highlight the beauty of the river as well as ongoing efforts to develop and promote the Satilla River Water Trail, a recreational boating trail stretching down more than 150 miles of the river.

This weekend’s event includes on-river camping, two full days of paddling, educational programs, catered breakfasts, lunches and dinners, opportunities to learn chemical water monitoring as well as games and other activities.

“The goal of Georgia River Network’s paddle trips is to connect people with Georgia’s rivers and create river stewards,” said Paddle Georgia Coordinator Joe Cook. “We see many of our participants return to their home communities and get involved in river cleanups, water monitoring and local river protection organizations.”

Spring on the Satilla is the first of several paddle trips planned by Georgia River Network this year. The group’s annual seven-day Paddle Georgia event will celebrate its 15th year with a 92-mile journey down the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers June 15-21. The organization will also organize Fall Float on the Flint, a three-day 48-mile trip on the Flint River near Albany; a three-hour tour on the Apalachee River near Dacula and Madison on May 11; a 15-mile paddle on the Chatthahoochee River near Newnan Aug. 10; and a three-day camping and paddling adventure on Cumberland Island Nov. 8-10. Information about these trips can be found at www.garivers.org.

Georgia River Network is a statewide organization working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to protect, restore and enjoy our rivers from the mountains to the coast.

Satilla Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect, restore, and educate about the ecological values and unique beauty of the Satilla River. The organization works to insure adequate quality and quantity of water in the Satilla River for all uses.

Sponsors of Spring on the Satilla include Hennessy Land Rover Centres; Southeast Adventure Outfitters; Cedar Creek RV and Outdoor Center; Nomadic Flow Outfitters; Cary Baxter, CPA; CYA Agency, Inc.; Oglethorpe Power; StreamTechs; Terry Pate, PC, CPA; China Clay Producers Association; Georgia Mining Association; Storm Water Systems; The Rain Barrel Depot; Patagonia; EarthShare of Georgia; Len Foote Hike Inn; and Friends of Georgia State Parks. Partners include American Canoe Association, Café Campesino, Georgia Canoe Association, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Project WET.