Situated on the shores of Walter F. George Lake, a 48,000-acre reservoir straddling the Alabama-Georgia state line, Bagby State Park offers tranquility via several different modes of exploration (not to mention an 18-hole golf course). After renting a canoe from the park, shove off from the marina and paddle south-southwest along the shores of the park. Bird watchers, fishermen, and wildlife lovers alike will delight on the paddling stretch of this trip, which passes isolated beaches, sunken islands, and possibly even a gator or two.
After approximately 1.3 miles of paddling, run your canoe aground on the beach near the park lodge and hike inland to the Chattahoochee Trailhead. From here, you'll start an easy-going 1.7-mile lollipop loop through hardwood forest lined with picnic sites. Take your time on the paddle back to the marina, and consider using out one of Bagby's secluded beaches for a tranquil lunch spot.
-Mapped by Christopher Harper
- Distance: 7.8
Location: 31.6699352, -85.0556183
Launch your canoe (your own or one of the rentals available from the park) from the marina by the boat docks. Paddle along the shore as it bends to the south.
Location: 31.6677036, -85.060112
Paddle right by the first protruding landpoint and keep an eye out for local wildlife, including gators. Continue past this point paralleling the shore, but veer a bit further out to bisect the next point further southwest and the floating trees out in the water.
Location: 31.6658459, -85.062912
At the next protruding point, look for a small secluded beach, a nice place for a lunch break on the return trip. Continue paddling south.
Location: 31.6627693, -85.0618134
Around the next bend, you will notice a second, more secluded beach. Continue paddling parallel to the shore.
Location: 31.6572781, -85.0604935
After rounding the next point, swing your canoe east into shore towards a sandy beach, and walk a little over 0.1 mile to the Chattahoochee Trailhead.
Location: 31.6576214, -85.0578079
Chattahoochee Trailhead: Proceed east-northeast on the trail.
Location: 31.6611061, -85.0562744
Continue straight @ 3-way junction, heading west-northwest on the trail.
Location: 31.6615275, -85.0571501
Bear right @ Y-junction, continuing north on the trail.
Location: 31.6624336, -85.0570068
At marker 19, bear right @ Y-junction, passing a giant water oak.
Location: 31.6653767, -85.0582733
Bear left @ Y-junction as the trail continues a gradual loop heading west-southwest back towards the water oak. At Waypoint 9, backtrack to the canoe and paddle back to the marina.
Location: 31.669838, -85.0556412
The launching point for this paddle-hike. © Christopher Harper
To the Point
Location: 31.6676521, -85.0600891
Explore this protruding point for local wildlife, but do your best not to disturb any gators you may see. © Christopher Harper
Location: 31.6672896, -85.0631475
As you round the first point, look off to the right (north-northwest) for a grove of trees that seem to be growing from a submerged island. © Christopher Harper
Location: 31.6574306, -85.0603943
Transitioning from sea to trail. © Christopher Harper
Into the Shade
Location: 31.6576843, -85.0577469
Entering a beautiful forest of hardwood and pine. © Christopher Harper