hi looking for some advice for a week long canoe trip in late may. Looking for class 1-2, fishing and camping,Leaving from ohio, nice weather a must!“wildernessy” would be important as well. i went to buffalo river in ar. before and had a great time should i go back and explore more? anyone know any areas in north carolina or georgia that would be fun? in know this is pretty vague but hope to hear some advice.
Its just before blackfly season
I hear Sylvania Wilderness in Michigan is nice but have not been there…
Lake Superior PP comes to mind… depending what part of Ohio you are coming from.
Or Algonquin Provincial Park…
Current River in Missouri probably still gives the right aura late May before the party starts.
Anything in the Adirondacks…you can choose from a week to a couple of days. There is lots of help at the Adirondack Forums.
The class 1-2 is a problem when you’re
wanting a trip of several days in length. Throw the “wildernessy” thing on top and it’s even more difficult. I can’t speak with authority about North Carolina, but in Georgia there is not a single river that will meet your criteria.
I suggest you forget about the rapids. Our class 2 rapids are “real” and will fill a boat full of camping gear. Instead look at rivers like the Edisto that have good isolation and frequent white sand bars for camping.
Note also: the SE is still in drought.
This will not cancel out coastal plain rivers such as the Edisto, but unless we get some serious and protracted rain, it will cancel out rivers such as the Broad and Flint in Georgia. The Cahaba in Alabama is also suffering from drought, as are the Broad and Cahaba in NC.
The good news: We do not have blackflies in the SE, we have few mosquitos in May, and the only other nuisance are what I call “face gnats” that try to get at your eyes. They aren’t that competent, are actually more common in the mountains than on the coastal plain, and can be somewhat deterred by Avon Skin So Soft.
i'd think that the roanoke river in northeast nc would fit the bill. platform camping available, though not required (see roanoke river partners website), good to excellent panfish and striped bass fishing, a good taste of eastern north carolina swamp forest habitat, and excellent birding at that time of year as well. weather mild and except for a few mosquitoes around dusk and dawn, no significant bugs. i've been in late may and it was a great trip.
in sc, the edisto would be hard to beat. blackwater, sandbars, decent fishing. weather just a tad warmer than nc.
in ga, the ogeechee, the satilla, and of course (if you can get the permit) the okefenokee swamp are great paddling destinations with a remote feel and great scenery and fishing. i'd also recommend looking at the suwannee river in north fla. the section from fargo, ga to suwannee state park in fl is very nice and i caught some of the largest redbreast sunfish of my life along it. camping is great on the many sandbars, scenery is excellent, and except for a few more mosquitoes that far south very pleasant in may.
good luck on choosing and have a great trip. -harry
follow the weather
Weather is so variable in May that, if I had a fixed date for a trip like that, I’d plan 3-4 trips ahead of time and then on the day you leave, check the weather and take the trip with the nicest weather forecast.
James River, VA
Research the James River from Iron Gate to Snowden Dam. It is a wonderful 50 mile run. There is plenty of wilderness camping along the river. The fishing is good and the river has many public take outs to allow you to customize your trip. I’d be glad to help out in any way I can. Need a shuttle?
Yeah, that’s an excellent point. We
were all set to go to the Okefenokee one week in April, and after the weather kept getting worse for several days, we ended up at the Sipsey River in north Alabama, where we had a great time.
2 great suggestions:
1)Upper Tallapoosa in NE GA/NW AL. Owens Canoe Trail. Great scenery, fishing, camping. Class 1 only.
2)Chatooga (sec 1-3 only)in NW GA on the SC border
Wild and Scenic River. BEAUTIFUL, class 1-3.
The Sipsey in N AL is great as well, but check water levels before heading that way.