Follow GA’s Intimate Alabaha River to See Flora and Wildlife of the Coastal Plain

alabaha river paddling
Alabaha River. Photo by Belinda Jo Adams

Black water reflects a mesmerizing mirror of the gum cypress-dominated floodplain of Alabaha River Paddling. Flowing with a slow to moderate current, this diminutive stream passes through a wooded swamp corridor draped with Spanish moss and bordered by palmetto stands occasionally penetrated by pine forests and agricultural development. Banks of 2-8 feet in height hold the river underneath a thick canopy of trees as it sidles through Bacon and Pierce Counties before emptying into the Satilla River east of Waycross.

Get an Overview of the Satilla River Watershed where the Alabaha River is located

USGS and County Maps for Alabaha River Paddling

Blackshear East (USGS); Pierce (County)

Alabaha River Paddling from GA 15 to the Satilla River


Class: Smooth water; Length: 16.1 miles; Time: 1-2 days; Gauge: None; Level: N/A; Gradient: Less than 2 feet per mile; Scenery: B+


Runnable below the GA 15 bridge except in the late summer and fall, Alabaha River paddling is similar to the Satilla in flora, wildlife, and topography but is far smaller and less convoluted in its course. Its small size lends an air of privacy and increases the probability of deadfall encounters, the only hazard to navigation. Access is good, and extended trips onto the Satilla are possible after reaching the mouth of the Alabaha.


The last take-out for Alabaha River paddling is located downstream of the confluence on the Satilla. To get there from Blackshear, go east on US 84/GA 38. Take the first right immediately after crossing the Alabaha; follow this road to Old River Road and turn right. Continue straight onto the dirt road when the pavement takes a 90-degree turn to the right (turning into Voight Bridge Road). Continue straight for 5.2 miles until reaching Circle Drive on the right. Follow Circle Drive to Turkey Ridge Road (CR 312) and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) boat ramp. Intermediate access is available at Voight Bridge Road, the boat ramp just downstream, at US 84 (southeast corner of the bridge), and at the southeast corner of the GA 15 bridge.


There is none. Call the Waycross Fisheries Office at (912) 285-6094 for more information.

See more Georgia Rivers

This Alabaha River paddling guide is adapted from Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia by Suzanne Welander and Bob Sehlinger and published here in cooperation with Menasha Ridge Press. Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia covers thousands of miles of Georgia waterways from whitewater to wilderness swamps and everything in between. It’s an indispensable guide to anyone interested in paddling Georgia’s rivers and streams. Order directly from Menasha Ridge Press. See a comprehensive list of other Menasha outdoor publications indexed by title, author, category, and region.

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