Cypress Swamp Paddle | Oct. 29, 2022 | 10 am
Embark on a south Georgia cypress swamp adventure during the height of fall's glory. The cypress trees will be as spectacular as you'll ever see them.
Here are the details:
It's Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022
at George L. Smith State Park
near Twin City, Georgia (close to Metter)
starting at 10 a.m.
We will be kayaking in a glorious blackwater cypress swamp for 3+ hours with guide Wesley Hendley, a seasoned naturalist of swamp & riverine habitats.
Late October is prime time in the wilds of southern Georgia. The cypress lake at George L. Smith State Park is actually a vast millpond populated by water-loving trees. The towering cypress are a vibrant orange this time of year, and the tannic water is still and intensely reflective. Get to George L. Smith early for spectacular landscape, wildlife, and nature photography.
The paddle itself is easy and safe. The water is smooth. Your hardest job will be maneuvering around the buttressed bases of cypress and tupelo trees, pin-balling through the swamp, which is incredibly fun. Single and tandem kayaks are available.
There will be lots of informal talking as we paddle, about cypress-swamp ecology, cypress trees, resident osprey, water snakes, the history of the area, and many other aspects of nature and culture.
Wesley is a cowboy poet, except his horse is a boat. We will make a few stops along our journey so that he can crack us up with recitations from memory of hilarious poems.
Wesley is also an incredible photographer & is always snapping photos; he'll get more than one of you, which he'll share with us in a dropbox. We'll send all photos to you of the trip afterward, in case you want to post to your socials and have for memories.
We'll take snacks with us as we paddle.
Then we'll pause our adventures midday to eat a healthy, organic lunch that we'll serve at one of the Park's beautiful picnic shelters, where there will be a short reading by Janisse.
You will have the opportunity to tour the mill, which looks and acts like a covered bridge. By about 4 you'll be able to get back on the road home.
Wesley will take care of boats, paddles, lifejackets, & all that jazz for you. He'll do a quick lesson on paddling if you're new to it.
Just show up!
Camping spots can be reserved at the Park, if you act soon. That would allow you to spend the night before and/or after. You may also try Jack Hill State Park in Reidsville if George L. Smith is full.
Treat a friend and join us for a wild, unforgettable, and spectacularly beautiful experience.
Janisse Ray's bestselling first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood--a book that braids her memoir of growing up in South Georgia with the natural history of the longleaf pine ecosystem that once spanned the Southern Coastal Plains— was a New York Times Notable. Her recently published book, Wild Spectacle, won the Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence. Otherwise, she's an all-around badass who was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and has won an American Book Award, Pushcart Prize, Southern Bookseller Award, Southern Environmental Law Center Writing Award, Nautilus Award, & Eisenberg Award, among others.
She's a naturalist and especially loves plants and birds. You'll enjoy spending time with her.
Bring your camera, your binoculars, your water bottle, and your hat.