2017 SAVE THE DATE - September 29 - october 1

Ocmulgee Water Trails Paddle
Hawkinsville, GA


Join the Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Canoeing AssociationHawkinsville Classic Main Street and Pulaski County Rivers Alive on a two-day river celebration along the banks of the Ocmulgee River. We will explore roughly 25 miles of the revolutionary 200 mile Ocmulgee Water Trail Network that is a premier destination for paddlers and river enthusiasts and provides a variety of recreational activities that promotes local and regional economic improvements. The weekend includes a guided naturalist tour of the Ocmulgee River, beginner canoe instruction, bluegrass music, BBQ dinner, and a fantastic fire-pit!

On Saturday, participants will paddle from Dykes Landing (river landing 6) north of Hawkinsville and will end at Mile Branch Park (river landing 8). This is a 13 mile paddle through easy moving currently that will include breaks on the many sandbars along the paddle.

On Sunday, the paddle will begin at Mile Branch Park and end at Sandy Hammock (river landing 9). This is a 14-mile paddle through easy moving current that will include several breaks. The sandbars between Mile Branch Park and Sandy Hammock are few and far between. However, we will take request breaks including a longer stop for lunch.

For paddlers exhausted from the previous days paddle, we will offer an early takeout after an 8 mile paddle at a private landing not available to the public.

In-kind donors and local food producers we will be enjoying during our weekend on the Ocmulgee: Sweet Grass DairySweetwater Brewing Company, and Cafe Campesino Coffee


Day paddlers - $30

  • 2 days of shuttle support, a naturalist guided paddle, bluegrass concert
  • Does not include overnight camping or canoe rental*

Campers - $75

Includes 2 days of shuttle support, a naturalist guided paddle, two wholesome and delicious dinners, bluegrass concert, camping reservations at Mile Branch Park

BBQ Dinner - $10 per plate

If you’re local to Hawkinsville, or just want to come for dinner around the campfire, come join us! (if interested in attending, please RSVP by email and bring cash or check to the event to pay for food)

* Price does not include canoe or kayak. You can register for a canoe when you register for the trip. A spot in a canoe for the weekend is $25 per person or $50 for a full boat. Pre-purchasing is suggested.

** Children 14 and under register for FREE on select Heartland Rivers of Georgia Paddle Series Trips. When completing registration add your children’s names and ages under Question #1.


  • Children must be 14 and under
  • Children must be accompanied by a full paying adult.
  • All children must have a signed waiver from their legal guardian
  • Boat rental and meals not included. Camping Only.
  • Does not include our Flint River Paddle at Montezuma Bluffs.
  • One adult for every two children.


Dates: TBD
*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.


  • Camping at Mile Branch Park in Hawkinsville, GA
  • Live bluegrass music
  • Presentation on Ocmulgee Water Trails and Hawkinsville Classic Main Street
  • Guided tour of Ocmulgee
  • Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese hors d'oeuvres
  • Café Campesino Coffee
  • Camping Gear - Tents, Sleeping bags, and Sleeping pads may be rented through the Georgia Conservancy free of charge thanks to our REI Sponsorship.

Capacity: 100 Participants *if trip is full, please contact Ben Fowler for waiting list options.

Staff/Guides: Ben Fowler, Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Manager, and Bryan Schroeder, Georgia Conservancy Senior Director of Stewardship and Outreach

Hosts: Greg Bates

Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights - Friday through Sunday

Skills/Knowledge Takeaways: Basic canoe instruction, basic camping skills, flora and fauna identification, Ocmulgee history, 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 Hawkinsville. 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 cancelations.

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! (please add receipts@donationpay.org to your safe list to avoid having this receipt end up in your junk folder)
  • Welcome to Georgia Conservancy Stewardship Trips: this email will be sent by Bryan Schroeder or Ben Fowler (The Stewardship Trips Team) welcoming you to the specific trip and we may ask you for a few details concerning yourself and your party if registering for multiple people (ex. names of individuals, rental gear needs, dietary restrictions, etc.)
  • 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.

The Ocmulgee 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.

Largely unknown to the Georgia outdoor enthusiast, Georgia’s heartland rivers are a treasure trove of unparalleled natural beauty and recreation opportunity just a short drive from home.

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.