Upper St. Marys River
Traversing this watery border between Florida and Georgia provides the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Only light strokes are needed to traverse these black tannic waters as we run with the current flowing from the Okefenokee Swamp to the sea. There’s plenty of time for quiet observation, chances to hone paddling skills, glean River knowledge from one of our Guides, or explore mysterious cut-offs. Lunchtime signifies a stop along one of the River’s numerous sandbars and moments to sun on a sugar sand beach, take a refreshing swim, or contemplate the River’s rich colors — gold, red, black — as it gently laps at your feet.
The evolving River assures that this trip is never exactly the same. Recent storm waters may cover the many sandbars while dryer weather exposes them, creating varying shorelines from sandy ridges to walls of river birch, oak, palmetto. Cedar knees peek out of dark waters. Wildlife play hide and seek overhead — blue heron, osprey, and a myriad of songbirds. And while rustic fish camps belie the feeling of charting unexplored territory, a stray deer, raccoon or other forest animal confirm you’re definitely off the beaten path.
The St. Marys River begins deep within the Okefenokee Swamp and flows along a twisting 130-mile-long path into the Cumberland Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Many native plant species are found in the St. Marys basin, including bald cypress, longleaf pine, black gum, southern magnolia, red maple, american holly, poplar, black willow, river birch and a variety of oaks. Wildlife in this area includes osprey, bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, raccoon, manatee, otter, beaver, gopher tortoise, alligator and indigo snake. White sand bars abound along the riverbanks, making for inviting rest stops.
This trip is suitable for beginners and paddlers of skill levels. However due to its length it can be physically demanding, depending upon river levels and flow volumes.
Lunch is included on this trip. A typical lunch will include a sandwich, chips, fresh fruit, granola bar, and cookie. Water will also be provided. We can accommodate special requests or dietary restrictions if needed. (No Alcohol is allowed on day trips.)
Transportation to and from the paddling site will be provided by Up the Creek Xpeditions. Customers who wish to meet us at the site are welcome to do so with prior confirmation.
You will need to arrange all pre and post lodging and meals for your trip. Gratuities are not included in the price of the adventure. Money is not required during the trip. Do not bring valuables. Guides will carry a waterproof bag for your convenience. A small amount of money may be useful for souvenirs or snacks at the end of journey back in the shop. ATM or bank access will not be available during the trip.
6-7 hour trip, includes lunch. $100/person