Kayak the Little Ocmulgee, a Georgia Blackwater River with White Sandbars

little ocmulgee river kayaking
White sand bars on the Little Ocmulgee frame the river's burgundy red water

The Little Ocmulgee, overshadowed by its heavyweight neighbors, sneaks through the coastal plain terrain southeast of McRae to meet up with the main Ocmulgee just before its confluence with the Oconee, forming the mighty Altamaha. Little Ocmulgee River kayaking is on a small, blackwater stream with white sand banks of moderate height framing the stream’s burgundy-red water.

Get an Overview of the Altamaha River Watershed where the Little Ocmulgee River is located.

USGS and County Maps for Little Ocmulgee River Kayaking

Scotland, Jordan, Lumber City (USGS); Wheeler, Telfair (County)

Little Ocmulgee River Kayaking from Towns to Lumber City


Class: I; Length: 10.1 miles; Time: 7 hours; Gauge: None; Level: N/A; Gradient: Less than 2 feet per mile; Scenery: B-C


Runnable below the community of Towns from December through mid-June in most years, Little Ocmulgee River kayaking is pleasant, although frequent signs of habitation, including several small towns and a shadowing railroad, essentially rob it of its wilderness atmosphere. Cypress and sweet gum dominate the banks, along with some black gum, willow, and ash. With a moderate current, the level of difficulty is Class I all the way to its mouth at the Ocmulgee below Lumber City. Hazards to navigation are limited to deadfalls. Camping is available at Little Ocmulgee State Park, about 7 miles upstream of this section.


From Lumber City, take GA 19 east to the river for the lowest take-out at the access point. For the highest put-in, return to Lumber City and take US 23 north, turning right onto CR 268 toward Towns. Intermediate access is possible on CR 108 (B), on the east side of the river.


None. Runnable up to flood stage.

See more Georgia Rivers

This Little Ocmulgee River kayaking 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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