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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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The Amazon of the South
THE AMAZON OF THE SOUTH
Visit the Altamaha River
Towering cypress trees dip their roots beneath the water along both banks. From within their shaded canopy, you can hear the calls of rare birds above the river’s murmur. Paddling down the heart of the Altamaha, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a South American rainforest. But this ancient waterway is as Georgian as they come. The Altamaha River begins near Lumber City in central Georgia, where the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers meet. From the heart of the state, the Altamaha begins its slow, 137-mile journey to the sea. This waterway and its tributaries form one of the most robust estuaries on the East Coast, almost all of it virtually untouched by man. This has led
Perhaps it is this primordial landscape that gives rise to the legends of Altamaha-ha, such as the sea monster of the Georgia Coast. Described as anywhere from 30–70 feet long, this dinosaur-like creature supposedly dwells near the mouth of the river, with sightings near the town of Darien dating back to the 1800s. It has since become one of the most frequently sighted monsters in North America. Real or not, the Altamaha-ha has become a staple of coastal Georgian folklore. Whether you want to catch a sight of the Altamaha-ha or just get out on the river to relax, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
The river offers over 138 miles of navigable water trails, making it a paradise for kayakers and anglers. If you are not comfortable venturing out on your own, plenty of local guide outlets would be happy to take you on an excursion! The Nature Conservancy designated the Altamaha as “one of the last great places in the world,” and it is right in our own backyard. If you are looking to spend some time on the water this summer, you owe yourself a trip down this incredible estuary.
many to dub the river “the Amazon of the South.” To float down the river gives you a true sense of timelessness. While a few bridges cross her, the Altamaha is undammed from start to finish. Many stretches of the surrounding wilderness look much the same as they did centuries ago, when the Timucua people first settled these banks. Today, the Altamaha has a higher concentration of rare Georgia wildlife than any other river in the state.
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