Altamaha River User's Guide
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Altamaha River User's Guide

Title Details

Pages: 228

Illustrations: 200 color images

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 04/15/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6426-1

List Price: $24.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Wormsloe Foundation

Altamaha River User's Guide

Get out and explore Southeast Georgia’s biologically diverse and dynamic Altamaha River

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  • Description

In the Altamaha River User's Guide, both novice and experienced water sports enthusiasts will find all the information required to enjoy the full length of the 137-mile river formed at the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers east of Lumber City, Georgia, as well as its major tributary, the Ohoopee, which winds some 120 miles through south-central Georgia.

The drainage basin of the largest river in Georgia is about 14,000 square miles in size, qualifying it among the larger river basins of the U.S. Atlantic coast. At least 120 species of rare or endangered plants and animals live in the Altamaha River watershed, including 18 species of freshwater mussels, 7 of which are endemic to the Altamaha. The river basin is also home to federally protected Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons and supports the only known example of old-growth longleaf pine and black oak forest in the United States. The unusual Franklin tree (Franklinia altamaha), now extinct in the wild, was found by British naturalist John Bartram along the Altamaha in 1765. Because of its rich biodiversity, the Altamaha is often referred to as Georgia’s Little Amazon.

The river passes through sparsely populated land, with Brunswick, Savannah, and Jesup being the largest nearby cities, yet owing to its importance in the history of Georgia—from the first settlements at Darien through the steamboat era of the late 1800s and early 1900s—the river holds a special place in the state’s cultural history. Indeed, its headwater streams stretch all the way to metro Atlanta and Athens.

In tandem with the already published Oconee and Ocmulgee River User’s Guides, the publication of the Altamaha River User’s Guide completes UGA Press’s documentation of Georgia’s largest river system. Author Joe Cook includes detailed maps, put-in and takeout suggestions, fishing and camping locations, mile-by-mile points of interest, and an illustrated guide to the animals and plants commonly seen in and around the river. Day-trippers will enjoy the guide's fascinating description of the cultural and natural heritage of this richly diverse waterway.


an introduction and overview of the river
chapters describing each river section, with detailed maps and notes on river access and points of interest
a compact natural history guide featuring species of interest
notes on safety and boating etiquette
a fishing primer
notes on organizations working to protect the river

About the Author/Editor

JOE COOK works with the Coosa River Basin Initiative and is the coordinator of Georgia River Network’s annual Paddle Georgia event. He has authored Georgia River Network guides to the Broad, Chattahoochee, Etowah, Flint, and Oconee Rivers (all Georgia). Cook’s photography has been widely published, and he is the coauthor with Monica Cook of River Song: A Journey down the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers.