The Ohoopee River
The Ohoopee River originates in Washington County and flows south for approximately 100 miles before emptying into the Altamaha River along the southern border of Tatnall County. The Altamaha River - Georgia’s largest river - then flows eastward to empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ohoopee River, with soft white sandbars and clean black water, is truly one of the most beautiful rivers in south Georgia. Ancient and mysterious, the name originates with the Creek Indians.
Canoeing and Kayaking Georgia author Suzanne Welander says of the river: "Burgundy-red waters run sparklingly clear over the starkly contrasting white sand bottom and banks on the Ohoopee. A tributary of the Altamaha River, it is the western and northernmost river sporting this Coastal Plain combination. A shading canopy of mossdraped cypress and hardwoods combines with the Ohoopee’s natural tranquility and remote, pristine setting to set it apart as an exceptional showplace of nature and one of the most exotic and beautiful streams in southern Georgia."
Georgia’s most extensive riverine sandhill formation stretches for 65 miles along the eastern edge of the Ohoopee. Deposited over time by prevailing western winds during the last glacial era, today the dunes host a unique ecosystem that’s concentrated upstream along the Little Ohoopee river. The Ohoopee is also recommended for overnight camping trips.
In the river's upper reaches, a canopy of trees and vines almost always covers the water, with dazzling rays of sunlight dancing around you. Farther down, the Ohoopee opens up to reveal rare views of hardwood swamps and ecologically unique sand hill dunes. The river’s dune system, in particular, differs significantly from others in the coastal plain and supports several endangered animals and diverse, but unusually stunted vegetation.
Canoeing down the Ohoopee is an unforgettably spectacular and inspiring experience. One you do not want to miss. The Ohoopee is dependent upon rainfall to be navigable by canoe. Late summer droughts sometimes make it too low to paddle. Fall, winter, and spring will usually have sufficient water for enjoyable canoeing.
The Ohoopee is a great river to do a two or three day overnight trip.