Altamaha River

The Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers come together just west of Uvalda, GA, to form the mighty Altamaha River. Named for a Yamasee Indian chief, Alatamaha, the Altamaha is the largest river of the GA coast and the second largest river basin in the eastern United States. The river winds for 137 miles from the forks to the Atlantic ocean and is relatively undisturbed except for a few fishing villages and vacation houses.Wide, big, and slow, the Altamaha’s flow is quite different from that of the area’s smaller rivers and streams. With the rains of spring and early summer the Altamaha can flood with its waters sometimes reaching as far as a mile or more into the hardwood swamps and bottomlands that line both sides of the Altamaha River. This is a great time to paddle to these swamps, which at other times of the year is only accessible with difficult hiking. Lewis Island Natural Area, located five up river from Darien, is a mass of canoe trails and waterways. The island contains the largest known groves of virgin tidewater cypress and tupelo gum trees in Georgia. Late summer and early winter is the best time to paddle the main channel of the river. The water is low and clear and sandbars around almost every corner makes an overnight camping trip very relaxing and enjoyable. This is also a great time for fishing. Many different species of fish swim the waters of the Altamaha. The world record largemouth bass was caught in a lake on the Ocmulgee River, a tributary of the Altamaha. So make sure to bring alone fishing gear on this trip. The Altamaha is a great river for overnight trips. For the adventurous spirit take a week and do the entire river. If that is not enough add one of it’s tributaries and do 2 weeks or more.