Summer is in full swing, and you’re looking for adventure. Lucky for you, you won’t have to go far to find it! Through Valdosta State University’s Center for Outdoor Recreational Experiences (CORE) you’ll be able to choose from a variety of outdoor gear to rent for your next expedition. So, whether you’re wanting to explore local waters, spend a night under the stars or have any other outdoor adventure, you’ll be able to make it happen with CORE.
Here are some of the locations you could explore, all within two hours of campus:
Alapahoochee River (Alapaha River) // Travel time: 30 min
The water trail at the Alapaha River connects about 125 miles of the 202-mile Alapaha River from Sheboggy Boat Ramp in Berrien County, Georgia, to the Suwannee River in Hamilton County, Florida. It has been described as “unspoiled, wild, and scenic” in the 1979 Soil Survey of Lowndes County, and “jungle-like in its remoteness and luxurious with exotic vegetation, the dark reddish-brown waters of the Alapaha wind through a swampy wonderland teeming with wildlife” by Brown’s Guide to Georgia. Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia has even given it an “A+” rating for scenery. (Source: WWALS Watershed Coalition)
Reed Bingham State Park // Travel time: 38 min
This relaxing 375-acre lake is lined with fragrant water lilies and tupelo trees. It’s home to an abundance of wildlife, including species such as gopher tortoises, yellow-bellied sliders, and indigo snakes. American alligators can even be seen sunning along the lake’s edge. (Source: Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites)
Suwannee River // Travel time: 53 min
The Suwannee River is a paddlers dream. This ideal paddling environment is made up of deep orange waters, beautiful cypress, pine, and live oak trees, and fresh air that’s filled with bird song. It is also a long river (about 240 miles) with numerous segments, so you could keep return several times and never repeat the same route twice! (Source: Paddle Florida)
Okefenokee Swamp // Travel time: 1 hr
Did you know that the Okefenokee Swamp is North America’s largest blackwater swamp? Well, it is. And on top of that, its diverse landscape has earned it a spot on the list of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders. If the mystery of this swamp alone doesn’t draw you in, then breathtaking scenes of trees veiled in Spanish moss, wading birds taking flight, and resting alligators will. (Source: Explore Georgia)
Wacissa River // Travel time: 1 hr 20 min
The Wacissa River is one of the most pristine rivers in Florida with a multitude of springs flowing through a rugged area in Florida’s Big Bend region. It is a state designated paddling trail and a wonderful place to explore for beginning paddlers or families with children. (Source: National Recreation Trails)
Itchetucknee River // Travel time: 1 hr 24 min
The crystalline Itchetucknee River is another great place to get some fresh air and take in nature’s beauty. While paddling underneath the moss-draped cypress trees and exploring the many springs that make up the river, you might even catch a glimpse of wading birds, manatees and river otters! (Source: Florida State Parks)
Lake Blackshear // Travel time: 1 hr 40 min
If you’re wanting to venture a bit further, you’ll find that Lake Blackshear is the perfect place to explore. Not only will you see fish, turtles, and birds (even bald eagles on a good day), but you’ll also find that the sunsets on this 8,700-acre lake are 💯.
Wakulla River // Travel time: 1 hr 47 min
The crystal-clear waters of the 10-mile-long Wakulla River rise from Wakulla Spring. It is one of the few exclusively spring-fed rivers in this part of Florida. This river, which is great for beginners and expert paddlers alike, is refreshing during the hotter months, and it is filled with fish, turtles, alligators, otters, and manatees. Dolphins even swim up from the bay in the southern portion of the river from time to time! (Source: RootsRated)
Check out CORE’s rental pricing, call 229.245.2355 with questions, and follow CORE on social media to stay in the know about all of their upcoming adventures!
Facebook: VSUCoreOutdoors // Instagram: Core_Outdoors