March 26 Canoe-Kayak Trip

Let’s Celebrate Nature by Taking a Canoe/Kayak Trip!

Audubon Members Marylyn and Ed Feaver are organizing a canoeing/kayaking field trip for Audubon members and their guests. Here’s the information. Please contact Marylyn if you want to participate. You must bring your own canoe or kayak – no rentals available.

When:  Sunday, March 26, 2017.  Meet-up at 9:30 am at Womack Creek campground.

What:  Womack Creek, a tributary of the Ochlockonee River, on the eastern edge of Tate’s Hell State Forest.  This will be a 3.75 mile paddle downriver from Nick’s Road campsite to the Womack Creek Campground landing.

Who:  Audubon members and guests, canoes or kayaks

What to bring:  PFD, whistle, water, lunch/snack, sunscreen, repellent (may not be necessary), hat, binoculars, camera.
Womack Creek is a blackwater perennial creek which is notable in that it has only native species (invasives have been removed.)   It is an easy creek to paddle, with some branches (submerged and not) which one will have to maneuver on the first mile.  The paddler will be more affected by tidal flow than river current. The creek is winding and starts out narrow and widens as it meets the Ochlockonee.  The last 1/8 mile of paddling will be on the Ocklockonee. There are many short branches which can be explored along the creek.

For a sample of what you might see on the river see:  www.womackcreek.wordpress.com    Scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit “April” or “May” and the plants which will be blooming in late March this year will show up.   There is variability every year, with some flowering plants being more dominant in some years and in sparse bloom the others.  The swamp roses are still not in bud so you may not see them.  Similarly for cross vines and American wisteria.  If you wish to see the most recent activity report on that creek, hit the “logbook” item on the top of the page.  There is less bird activity on this creek, although there is a resident pair of hawks.  There are otters on this river, but the chances of a group seeing them is almost nil.   You may see one or two small alligators.  You may see bear scat at Nick’s. There is a gopher tortoise burrow at the campground and one in the woods near Nick’s Road primitive campsite, which may have been abandoned.

Shuttle:  We will meet at Womack Creek Campground and shuttle the boats to Nick’s Road primitive campsite for launching.  The road to Nick’s road is sandy and big gravel, driving slowly over the gravelly spots is highly recommended. The drivers will return back to Womack Creek Campground to park the cars and the drivers will return to the put-in on as few a number of cars as can accommodate them.  (At the end of the paddle, the drivers of the cars parked at Nick’s road campsite must be returned to their cars).   There is a $2 per person day use fee for the Womack Creek parking area, day use and picnic area (put in envelopes provided at Iron Ranger at bulletin board).

Duration of trip:  depends on group.  If one just paddles through it could be done in less than 2 hours, however, if individuals wish to stop to examine, photograph and watch, then it will take much longer.    Paddlers who wish a longer paddle, can put-in at Womack Creek campground landing and paddle upstream to Nick’s Road primitive campsite, have lunch there, and return down river for a 7.5-8 miles paddle.

Restrooms:  Once on the river, particularly when the tide is up, there is no accessible rest stop.  There are flush bathrooms at Womack Creek campground, but no toilet facilities except the woods at Nick’s Road primitive campsite.
Womack Creek Campground:  There is a covered picnic area with tables at the campground for day use and individual tenting and RV/trailer sites. There is no charge for launching, however, if you use the pavilion there is a $2 day use fee. Campsites are $10. Select your site and put your money in the iron ranger.  After April 15 reservations can be made at Reserve America and the rates will change.

There is a camp host:  Mark Suggs.
For more information/questions, e-mail marylyn_feaver@comcast.net, or ed_feaver@comcast.net. Please reference the Audubon trip.

Meet-up:  Womack Creek Campground, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Franklin County, 9:30 AM.

Directions:

  • Option 1:   Take SR 20 west to Hosford. At Hosford, turn left into SR 65 to Telogia (about 3 miles).  Turn left at corner with store and follow signs to Carrabelle.   Drive on CR 67 until the Franklin county line, passing an aggregate/sand “quarry” on left.   After Franklin County sign, turn left on Rock Landing Road (there is a boat landing sign on CR 67 pointing to this road which is a forestry road).   Continue driving on Rock Landing Road till intersection of Jeff Sanders Road crossing. Turn left on Jeff Sanders Road (Womack Creek Campground sign at intersection) and follow the road to the Campground. Park in parking lot on right soon after entering park.
  • Option 2:  From US 98 toward Carrabelle, take CR 67 north (right) until Jeff Sanders Road.  Turn right on Jeff Sanders Road and continue to the Womack Creek Campground.(Of the 2 options, there is hardly any traffic once you leave SR 20 at Hosford.  It’s much faster and much more scenic.)