GRN asks river lovers to vote on 2020 trip

The Georgia River Network is calling on the state’s river lovers to help the organization choose the destination for next year’s Paddle Georgia, a weeklong canoe/kayak adventure that will take place the week of June 21.

The Georgia River Network is calling on the state’s river lovers to help the organization choose the destination for next year’s Paddle Georgia, a week-long canoe/kayak adventure that will take place the week of June 21.

Paddle Georgia 2019 recently took paddlers on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers. On that trip, the Athens-based river protection group celebrated the event’s 15th anniversary. In 2020 GRN will attempt to surpass the success of this year’s event.

Paddlers can choose their favorite from a list of seven suggested rivers spanning the length and breadth of Georgia at surveymonkey.com/r/2020destination. The destination receiving the most votes will get first priority.

Suggested destinations include the upper Flint River in central Georgia from Upson County to Macon County; the Savannah River between Augusta and Sylvania; the St. Mary’s River along the Georgia-Florida state line; the Satilla River in coastal Georgia; the Oconee and Altamaha rivers between Soperton and Baxley; the Broad and Savannah rivers from near Royston to Augusta and a trip featuring three rivers in southwest Georgia and the Florida panhandle—the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola rivers.

“With more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams in the state, there’s no shortage of places to explore and the rivers are incredibly diverse from rocky, shoal-filled streams in North Georgia to lazy blackwater rivers in the South,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator. “This year, we want our supporters to have a say in where we journey.”

Since the first Paddle Georgia in 2005, GRN has introduced more than 5,000 people to Georgia’s rivers with participants traveling more than 1,500 miles on 15 different rivers across the state.

During last month’s anniversary trip, the organization surpassed the half-million dollar mark for funds generated for river protection. The 2020 edition will mark the 16th year for the annual sojourns. More information can be found at garivers.org/paddle-georgia.

“The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of our rivers, raise money to support river protection efforts and to establish water trails across Georgia for rural economic development,” said Rena Stricker, executive director at Georgia River Network. “When people explore a river and develop a relationship with it, they are much more likely to take action to protect our rivers.”

Paddle Georgia attracts 300 to 450 people annually, and is considered the country’s largest weeklong canoe/kayak and camping journey in the country.

GRN is a nonprofit 501c3 organization working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to protect and restore our rivers from the mountains to the coast.