2017 Save The Date - April 7-9

Ochlockonee River Paddle
Thomasville, GA


Pack up your paddles, we are headed to deep southwest Georgia to explore the relatively uncharted waters of one of Georgia’s most mysterious rivers.

Join the Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Canoeing Association on April 7-9 for a paddle on the Ochlockonee River near Thomasville, GA. The paddle will start at the boat ramp off Egg and Butter Road and explore the blackwater swamp features of the Ochlockonee River. We will paddle approx. 6 miles exploring the Ochlockonee’s many small lakes, oxbows and side cuts. Paddlers will enjoy live oak, Spanish moss and cypress trees. The trip will begin and end at the same boat ramp. Because of the likelihood of snags and portages, this paddle is for moderately to experienced paddlers only.

Thanks to our friend/trip host Chuck Winchester, we will be offering complementary camping at Camp Pineywoods on Friday and Saturday night. The camp, with bathroom amenities and a full kitchen, is centrally located between the put-in, take-out, dairy and cheese shop.

Before we start the paddle, participants will “rally up” at the Sweet Grass Dairy for a tour and cheese sampling at the award-winning Georgia-grown artisanal dairy. After a picnic lunch we will drive a short distance away to start out trip!

After our paddle on the river is complete, Ochlockonee Paddle guests are welcome to join us for an evening of beer and cheese at the Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop in Downtown Thomasville. 

A huge thank you to the staff at the Sweet Grass Dairy for their support in planning this trip!


*Registration opens to Georgia Conservancy members on December 15 and to the General Public on December 19

Georgia Conservancy members (Live Oak Level and above)- use your member id # to receive a discount when registering for a trip. Having trouble identifying your membership id #? Contact Alexis Torres at atorres@gaconservancy.org

Participants have access to GC's REI Gear Bank (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad) on this trip for a fee of $5.  Using your account ID #, Georgia Conservancy members (Live Oak level and above) have FREE access to the GC REI Gear Bank.


The Ochlockonee River Paddle is one of our twelve Heartland Rivers of Georgia trips featuring camping, paddling and stewardship in south and central Georgia. The series brings to light conservation efforts, economic development and recreational opportunities on the Flint, Ochlockonee, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Chattahoochee, Altamaha, Satilla, Savannah and Yellow rivers, as well as Spring Creek near Bainbridge.

Learn more about the Georgia Conservancy's Stewardship Trips Program


If you have any questions about our Stewardship Trips Program or about any upcoming trip, please contact Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips Director Ben Fowler at bfowler@gaconservancy.org

Thinking of joining us for a trip? Please read our "Know Before You Go" page for more details.



Dates: April 7-9, 2017
*Some of our trips take place on a Friday, so please be aware that you may have to rearrange your work schedule if it begins earlier in the day.


  • Guided paddle on the Ochlockonee River
  • Sweet Grass Dairy farm tour
  • Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville meet & greet
  • Camping Gear - Tents, Sleeping bags, and Sleeping pads may be rented through the Georgia Conservancy free of charge thanks to our REI Sponsorship.
  • Free camping at Camp Pineywoods

Capacity: 55 Participants *if trip is full, please contact Ben Fowler for waiting list options.

Staff/Guides: Ben Fowler, Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips Director 

Hosts: Chuck Winchester

Duration: Saturday (Friday & Saturday night camping is optional and free of charge)

Skills/Knowledge Takeaways: Ochlockonee River history, basic paddling and canoe instruction, river navigation, intro to camping skills, Leave No Trace Principles, Georgia Conservancy’s mission and goals.

Challenge level/difficulty/fitness required: All participants must have basic paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water. No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.

Carpooling/Shuttle (option yes, no): NO, participants are responsible for their own transportation. The Georgia Conservancy does not provide a shuttle from Atlanta to the Ochlockonee River.  We are not responsible for organizing carpooling, but if enough participants express interest we will facilitate communication between parties. The reality is carpooling is just a better option because it saves money, promotes the human connection, and truly lessens the automotive impact on the environment.*please note that the Georgia Conservancy DOES provide shuttle services from Atlanta on a number of trips so make sure to always ask.

Reservation and Cancellation Policy: Within 30 days before the start of the trip, you can cancel your reservation for a refund minus a $10 processing fee. After 30 days, you can receive a refund minus a $10 transaction fee, only if we can find someone to take your place. 2 days before a trip we can no longer offer a refund for cancellations.

What to expect after you register for a trip: Upon completion of your registration you will receive a series of emails, including:

  • Confirmation of registration: this email is sent by our payment provider and serves as your payment receipt for the trip and lets you know you’re on the list! 
  • Welcome to Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips: this email will be sent by Ben Fowler welcoming you to the Ochlockonee River Paddle and we may ask you for a few details concerning yourself and your party if registering for multiple people
  • 2 weeks away: A reminder to start getting excited for your upcoming adventure and will include any remaining details or specifics concerning the trip if not explained before (ex. waivers, medical forms, gear checklist, ferry schedule, service work choices, ect.)
  • 1 week away: We are all set and looking forward to seeing you! We may provide updates on any minor trip changes. If it is a service trip, for example, we will provide lists of elected service work or sleeping locations.