Exploring Aspalaga to Ocheesee via kayak

By Doug Alderson

Cool weather didn’t deter a few hardy folks from enjoying a fourth Saturday paddling trip on the upper Apalachicola River from Aspalaga Landing just below I-10 to Ocheesee Landing, about six miles. A mature bald eagle greeted us soon after embarking. It was the first 4th Saturday paddle for Georgia Ackerman as our new Riverkeeper, although she has led numerous trips as a volunteer.

The river is up this time of year, so six miles went by fairly quickly. We extended the trip by having a nice break on a high sandbar near Torreya State Park. We learned a bit about the Gregory Plantation that once thrived at Ocheesee Landing and the fact that the Gregory Mansion (built in 1849) was disassembled and moved from Ocheesee to the state park by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. You can see the mansion from the river perched on a high bluff.

The goal of the 4th Saturday trips this year is to cover several sections of the river basin by kayak as well as to do some fun hikes during the cool months. Stay tuned for more adventures, and remember to pencil in the fourth Saturdays on your calendar.

For more information on the next paddling trip, visit apalachicolariverkeeper.org/4th-saturday-paddle

Author Doug Alderson is a volunteer eco-educational trip leader with Apalachicola Riverkeeper. His writings can be found a dougalderson.net