Winding through a wooded corridor, the Upper Ocmulgee is home to bald eagles, blue herons, and slider turtles. Very little signs remain of the many mills that harnessed the river’s energy in the 19th century or the numerous ferries that crossed it. This area is known as Seven Islands and two of the oldest roads in America, the Seven Islands Indian Trail and the Seven Islands Stagecoach Route converge in Jasper County and cross the Ocmulgee at Smith Mill Road.
OOE is offering the chance to explore a 4 mile stretch of the Seven Islands area that winds through a forest of pines, oaks, hickory, willows, magnolia and sweet gum trees. The Ocmulgee winds around islands and alternates between calm, verdant stretches and Class 1 shoals. This section has a very different feel than the more heavily used sections between Popes Ferry and Spring Street and offers the paddler a sense of joyful isolation and peace not found elsewhere.
Trip time on the water is approximately two hours and paddlers will be shuttled from the takeout back to their cars at the put in at Lloyd’s Shoals Boat Ramp. The boat ramp is not far from the world famous Jackson Fresh Air BBQ and paddlers can detour the short distance to the restaurant on their way home and enjoy its bbq and Brunswick stew. Total time including shuttles and paddling is 3.5-4 hours.
Private boats that have booked the FFtMC Shuttle are welcome to go down with the rental boats and will be brought back to the put in, Lloyd’s Shoals, on the Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions bus.