Join Georgia River Network on Columbus Day weekend for a voyage down the Flint River that would fill Christopher Columbus with envy.
We’ll travel 48 miles from Baconton to Bainbridge taking in the best of the Flint–beautiful blue hole springs, lively rapids, rich history, abundant wildlife and more! Fashioned after our annual week-long Paddle Georgia events, we will tent camp on the river two nights at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat. Like our annual summer adventure, we will enjoy catered meals, educational programs and great camaraderie as we make our way down one of Georgia’s most beautiful rivers during a beautiful time of year.
The trip coincides with continuing efforts to create the Flint River Water Trail, a recreational boating trail spanning the length of the river from near Jonesboro to Bainbridge, an improvement now joined by needed efforts to clean up ongoing pollution problems stemming from the City of Albany’s sewage system.
Recently, the city has been plagued by pump failures that have caused spills of raw sewage into the Flint. Additionally, for years, the city has struggled to control spills that occur when heavy rains cause water to flow into sewer lines and result in overflows into the river. All of these spills can create unhealthy conditions for those who swim in the river or otherwise come in contact with the water.
“While the river is ordinarily safe for boating, fishing and swimming, these spills create uncertainty for river users,” said Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers. “It is difficult to know when a slug of polluted water is coming down river. This shouldn’t have to be a consideration when planning trips on our river.”
To ensure not only a safe Fall Float, but also better information for all river users all year long, Flint Riverkeeper began weekly monitoring of bacterial levels on the lower Flint, from Albany downstream, mid-July; Riverkeeper will continue the monitoring for the foreseeable future including the days leading up to the journey and during the journey to provide information about pollution levels to participants.
“This is not a problem that is unique to the Flint,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia Coordinator. “It’s a consideration on virtually every river in the state. Part of the purpose of Georgia River Network’s paddle trips is to bring attention to these problems and encourage improvements so that all our rivers are free from pollution 365 days a year.”
This trip highlights one of the most scenic sections of the river, featuring lively shoals, limestone bluffs and beautiful blue hole springs.