Various spellings have been attributed to this beautiful stream over the years and locals often shorten it to Notchaway Creek. It’s a Muskogee word thought to mean “the place where deer sleep”.
Tag Archives: South Georgia Rivers Creeks & Lakes
As part of the Altamaha Riverkeeper’s ongoing efforts to monitor pollution, I was honored to be able to make an aerial survey of its lower reaches in 2012, culminating in one of my photographs being featured on the front page of the Savannah Morning News. It was a great opportunity that allowed me to really understand the size of the river and its complex ecosystem.
Altamaha River Park & Trestle, Glynn County
Though it is a beautiful wilderness, especially when seen from the air, it’s among Georgia’s most polluted rivers. Georgia Power’s Plant Hatch on the Upper Altamaha in Appling County and Rayonier in Wayne County are the main culprits, but hopefully they will soon work harder to balance jobs and the environment. The jury is still out, but with legal actions being sought by Altamaha Riverkeeper, a cleaner river could be on the horizon.
The wildest stretches of the river can be found in McIntosh County as the river reaches its delta and finally the Atlantic Ocean.
Altamaha River Delta, McIntosh County
As paddle sports gain popularity, it’s not an uncommon sight to see folks out early on South Georgia’s many rivers, taking in the natural beauty of their surroundings.
Since these photos were made during the 2012 Paddle Georgia Altamaha River trip, kayaks and canoes just seem to be getting more popular every year.
These images were made at the Upper Wayne County Landing, a beautiful area of the Atlamaha.
When the fog cleared, this was the view!
Due to the overwhelming response of my first post about Crystal Lake a couple of months ago, I’m sharing these outtakes to round out the July 4th holiday weekend. I think it’s an appropriate tie-in considering that Charlie Daniels played a huge Independence Day concert here in the late 1970s and for many years it was a favorite summer destination for thousands of South Georgians.
The palm trees weren’t natural to the park, but they sure made it feel more like the beach. Of course, water slides were always the favorite attraction for young and old alike.
Lots of people have asked me about the Rampage, which was one of the most popular attractions at Crystal Lake. Here are two shots of this high-speed water slide, one from the lake bed and another from the front.
I believe there were several of these metal mushroom umbrellas on the pavilion side of the lake.
The area known as Varsity Beach was located on the far side of the lake.
It was more natural than the pavilion side and set in a nice stand of oak trees.
Many hope the lake will once again be a family destination, but at this time I think it’s highly unlikely.
Don’t forget to check out these images:
This view shows Coffee County on the left and Telfair County on the right.
This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending a talk about the fiction of Brainard Cheney at the Glennville Public Library. During the 1980s, Stephen Whigham recognized the importance of Cheney’s works set around the Altamaha, Ocmulgee, and Ohoopee Rivers during the late 19th century and has now brought them back into print after decades of obscurity. Lightwood, River Rogue, This is Adam, and Devil’s Elbow recall the lore of the river and the river people long gone from the landscape.
Brainard Cheney was born in Fitzgerald in 1900 and moved to Lumber City by the time he was six years old. Upon the death of his father at age eight, he and his sisters were raised by their mother. He attended the Citadel during his teen years and later, at Vanderbilt was a student of John Crowe Ransom and a roommate of Robert Penn Warren. Ransom and Penn Warren were the best-known members of the Fugitives. From 1925-1942 he worked for the Nashville Banner. (Other contemporaries were Andrew Nelson Lytle, Caroline Gordon, and Allen Tate).He and his wife Frances, herself the author of a widely-used textbook of library science, converted to Catholicism in the 1950s and became close friends of Flannery O’Connor’s. From 1952-1958, Cheney was public relations director for Tennessee Governor Frank Clement. He died in 1990 at the age of 89.
If you’re interested in the history of these rivers or the folklife of the region, I think you’d enjoy these reprints, and Stephen Whigham’s accompanying work, The Lightwood Chronicles: Being the True Story of Brainard Cheney’s Novel Lightwood. I really can’t say enough good things about how lucky we are to have renewed access to these works and the dedication of someone who believes in the literature of his region. It’s not just fiction, it’s the culture of a people nearly as gone as the Creek and the Cherokee…
Much of the land surrounding the upper reaches of the Alapaha River is characterized by sandy soils, dunes and scrub oaks. They’re most often encountered by hunters and fishermen but they’re a magnificent ecosystem, worthy of exploring when you can get access. Several endangered species call these scrublands home.
The Alapaha originates in southern Dooly County and flows southerly through or along the borders of Crisp, Wilcox, Turner, Ben Hill, Irwin, Tift, Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes, and Echols in Georgia and Hamilton County in Florida. The Willacoochee and Alapahoochee Rivers are its two main tributaries. It flows into the Suwanee River 1o miles south of Jasper, Florida.
Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is ubiquitous.
The remains of a weather-damaged oak lie beside the banks of a man-made canal near the river.
The Alapaha isn’t widely known beyond the counties it embraces except by a few kayakers and canoeists, yet it courses 202 miles from its headwaters to its confluence with the Suwanee. Its levels are increasingly strained by modern agricultural practices in a region considered to harbor some of the most productive farmland in the state. It’s particularly important to me as it’s where I first went fishing in a boat with my father as a very young boy. I may be foolish to think so, but I believe people who live near the river will always have a strong desire to protect it.