Upper Ochlockonee River Report
(SR157 (Old Bain) to Tower Rd)

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 6/22/2013 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 16 photos     Map & Directions: View

This is a short six mile trip from SR 157(Old Bainbridge Rd) to Tower Rd. It only took about two and a half hours.

My Report:

This is a short six mile trip from SR 157(Old Bainbridge Rd) to Tower Rd. It only took about two and a half hours. Charlotte, Jim Owen and John made the trip in short order and without any problems. The put-in has ample parking and there is a soft mud/sand area next to the concrete ramp that makes launching easy. The takeout at Tower Rd. has a smaller parking area (10 or 12 cars) and the water drops off quickly, making a side exit from the boat the best choice.

There were a lot of medium sized alligators, turtles and a few birds (one Osprey, two pileated woodpeckers and some herons). We only saw 3 people on the river, one couple that launched at the same time we did and one guy fishing in a boat against the bank 30 feet from his property. He had all kinds of posted signs, with the added note that the property was patrolled. The irony was that he could have fished from the bank in the same place without the boat.

We had one slide over and a half dozen narrow places, where only one kayak at a time could go through. Much lower water would have meant some pullovers. It was 15.54 ft with 492 cfs at 6:15 AM and 15.28 ft with 455 cfs at 2:15 PM. I donít think I would want to do this section if the water level was below 15 ft. When I originally started thinking about doing the Ochlochonee on Wednesday the river was at over 17 ft with a cfs over 800. See the gage at (this is at the US 27 bridge two thirds of the way on this 6 mile trip) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/uv?site_no=02329000 and for what the future levels will be the gage at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/uv?site_no=02328522 that is upstream.

Most of the river bank is dominated by willows until you get around US 27 and few flowers. There is some variety of trees after that and the banks are high enough that it was hard to see more than a few little wild flowers. There was not a large amount of trash on the river. It could use a clean up, especially at the put-in and take-out, but all in all, it was not as bad as I expected. We were lucky to have cloud cover and a light breeze to keep us cool. It was around 86 degrees for most of the trip.

Plants on the trip. On the high banks and at the takeout there were a few sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) plants in full bloom. Trumpet Creeper vine (Campis radicans) was seen near the takeout. The exotic invasive Spanish Gold (Sesbania punicea) was in full bloom in two places along the river. This beautiful red pea flowered plant is also poisonous.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from SR157 (Old Bain) to Tower Rd:    (Click image to view full size)

After put-in No Comm
After put-in
Down River 1 No Comm
Down River 1
Obstacle 3b No Comm
Obstacle 3b
Obstacle 4 No Comm
Obstacle 4
Down river 2 No Comm
Down river 2
Down river 3 No Comm
Down river 3
Down river 4 No Comm
Down river 4
Down river 5 No Comm
Down river 5
Down river 6 No Comm
Down river 6
Sand bank 4ft high No Comm
Sand bank 4ft high
Take out Tower Rd No Comm
Take out Tower Rd
Sneezweed No Comm
Spanish Gold flowers No Comm
Spanish Gold flowers
Obstacle 1 No Comm
Obstacle 1
Obstacle 2 No Comm
Obstacle 2
Obstacle 3a No Comm
Obstacle 3a

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsSeveral other trips on the Ochlockonee, Lee Voss Park just off US 27 on SR 157 (Old Bainbridge)

Post Date: 6/22/2013

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.