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Canoeing & Kayaking

Satilla River, Georgia USA

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Copyright 2002 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Morris Friedman
  • Date Submitted: 1/2002
  • Location: Atkinson, GA to Burnt Fork, GA
  • Class: 1
  • Distance Paddled: 37 mile trip over 3 days with camping en route
  • Water Level:
  • Water: fresh, tannic
  • Wildlife: abundant
  • Special Regulations:


  • Directions: The put-in is at Atkinson, GA where US HWY 84 crosses the river. The put-in at the northeast side of the bridge is privately owned, but they let us camp and launch from their boat ramp the next morning.
  • Fee: none
  • Description: dirt banks by bridge
  • Parking:
  • Facilities: none
  • Handicap Access:


  • Directions: The take-out is at GA HWY 252, which is Burnt Fork on river right.
    (You may also continue for another 2 days and 25 miles to the last take-out at US HWY 17 at the Satilla River Waterpark.. After the Waterpark the river is tidally influence and primarily marshland.)
  • Fee: none
  • Description: dirt banks by bridge
  • Parking:
  • Facilities: At Burnt Fork, there is a small primitive park area adequate for overnight camping. There are no restrooms. The Satilla River Waterpark has boat ramps, restrooms, and picnic tables.
  • Handicap Access:

What We Saw

The annual trip with "The Boys" is a 14 year tradition. Paddling the "Oke" and twisty, "turney" rivers and streams with these guys is what makes paddling even more special. Since fire and drought have disabled the "Oke" venue we settled on the Satilla River in southeast Georgia and were not disappointed.

The Satilla River flows, winding some 270 miles from coastal swamps to St. Andrews Sound in the Atlantic Ocean.

The river's name comes from an officer in the Spanish Army, Saint Illa, which was corrupted to "Satilla" over the years. English, French and Spanish explorers navigated the river before Savannah was founded in 1733 by Gen. James Oglethorpe.

This unpolluted river has abundant wildlife and the "tannic" stained water gives it a mirror quality that is beautiful. Numerous wide white sand bars on the inside of bends in the river provide ample room for 14 paddlers.

The trip took a total of three days of easy paddling. One leg found us in a downwind which we quickly rafted up, raised a tarp and sailed for more than a mile.