MAY 5 - 7

Ogeechee River Paddle &
Ossabaw Island Tour

Fort McAllister State Park, GA

For the weekend of May 5-7, join the Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Canoeing Association, Georgia State Parks and the Ossabaw Island Foundation for a paddle down the beautiful blackwater Ogeechee River, a tour of historic Ossabaw Island and two-nights at Ft. McAllister State Park.

On Saturday, we will paddle 12 miles on the stunning Ogeechee River from Morgan’s Bridge to the Savannah Ogeechee Canal, retiring to Fort McAllister State Park for the night.

From the Ogeechee Riverkeeper:  The river system drains over 5,000 square miles of land (known as a watershed or river basin). The Ogeechee River Watershed includes 4 sub-watersheds: Upper Ogeechee, Lower Ogeechee, Ogeechee Coastal and the Canoochee watersheds. The Ogeechee River itself is approximately 245 miles long.

The freshwater streams in this river system are known as blackwater streams due to their dark, tea-colored water. Blackwater streams are really unique and have an interesting ecology. The tannins from the swamps that stain the water the tea-color also make the water more acidic than other streams. This acidity reduces the amount of vegetation that can grow naturally in the rivers, and also affects the mercury uptake by fish.

On Sunday, we will charter a boat with Bull River Cruises to Ossabaw Island and host a full island exploration of historic and beautiful Ossabaw - including the beach and the historic buildings! The Ossabaw Island Tour is only available to individuals participating in Saturday’s paddle.

From the Ossabaw Island FoundationOssabaw Island, on the Georgia coast, contains 26,000 acres of maritime forest, tidal wetlands and wide beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. It is an unspoiled place set aside by the State of Georgia as a heritage preserve for natural, scientific and cultural study, and research and education. It's only 20 minutes by boat from Savannah, yet it's worlds apart. Ossabaw Island is where loggerhead sea turtles and endangered wood storks nest; where students learn research techniques and the value of an unspoiled place; where historic cultures are studied; and where photographers, writers, painters and musicians find inspiration.

This trip will showcase the relationship between a delicate backwater river and a pristine barrier island and is a rare opportunity to both paddle the Ogeechee and explore Ossabaw over a 2-day period.

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

Recommended Experience Levels: Novice (Ogeechee) & Beginner (Ossabaw)

Trip Snapshot Details: Click to learn more and for downloadable .pdf




*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

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 Ogeechee River Paddle & Ossabaw Island Tour 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 or Stewardship Trips Coordinator Laura Buckmaster at