Bring bon-bons, lights, and boats to paddle the moonlit mysteries of our own mini-Okefenokee: Banks Lake, as the sun sets between Lakeland, GA and I-75.
When: 8PM Saturday, July 8, 2017
Banks Lake Boat Ramp,
1099 W Main St. (GA 122), Lakeland, GA 31635.
Or: 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, Lanier County
GPS: 31.03492, -83.09619
Duration: 2-4 hours
Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
From Lakeland, GA, 1.7 miles west on GA 122, on the left.
From Valdosta, GA, north on Bemiss Road (GA 125), right onto GA 122, about six miles on the right.
From Tifton, GA, southeast on GA 125, right in Nashville onto GA 129, right onto GA 122C, left onto GA 122, right into the destination.
From Live Oak, FL, north on US 129, left onto GA 122, follow Lakeland directions.
From anywhere else, go to Lakeland, GA, and follow directions from there.
Blueway: Banks Lake is part of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).
Banks Lake NWR: It’s a mini-Okefenokee next to the population center of the Suwannee River Basin, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge:
The refuge contains a variety of habitat types including 1,000 acres of marsh, 1,644 acres of cypress swamp, 900 acres of open water, and 15 acres of uplands.
Facilities at Banks Lake NWR include restrooms, boat ramp, short walking trail, boardwalk and platform, and accessible fishing dock.
Shuttle: None. We will park, eat, paddle, and come back.
A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
So bring a flashlight. An LED light is probably the lightest, with least battery use. We will have some available in case you forget.
Gear: As always, bring your personal floatation devices, paddles, and boats! Most likely the outfitter will be open if you want to rent on the spot instead. Yes, he will be open!
Moon: The full moon will be 12:08 AM Eastern Time, Sunday July 9, 2017, so it will be very near full when it rises just after the sun sets Saturday. This July full moon is called variously Buck Moon after deer antlering, Thunder Moon after the weather, or Hay Moon.
Host and Contact: Phil Hubbard
Backup: None. If the weather’s too bad for Banks Lake, it’s too bad for anywhere nearby. We tried this two years ago and got rained out (lightninged out, actually). Probably the weather will be better this summer.
For more outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!