The Lower Oconee River Water Trail begins at the base of Sinclair Dam. With public access at the dam, boaters can enjoy a 4-mile stretch of scenic flat water between the put-in, just south of the dam, and the public access ramp at the Oconee River Greenway, adjacent to downtown Milledgeville.

At lower water levels this section becomes rocky, with exposed shoals and may require some maneuvering. Shoes are always recommended for walking in the river and/or portaging. At higher water levels, remnants of two old diversion dams create Class II-III rapids which should only be attempted by experienced paddlers with appropriate boats. A safer alternative route exists and is often the best option for all boaters.

The water trail continues past the Greenway for another 5 miles of gently meandering flat water until it reaches a third public access ramp south of the city limits.

Ongoing work will help to extend the Lower Oconee River Water Trail through approximately 143 miles downstream to its confluence with the Ocmulgee River.

On the Lower Oconee River Water Trail, you'll paddle near the sites of revolution-era forts, through antebellum shipping routes, and through a diverse and rich mix of terrestrial and aquatic habitats including those of the blossoming Cherokee Rose, bald eagles, osprey, kingfishers, river otters, alligator gar, as well the threatened Altamaha Shiner, Altamaha Arcmussel, Oconee Burrowing Crayfish and endangered Robust Redhorse.

Georgia River Network has been assisting communities throughout the state in the development of water trails (similar to a hiking trail but on a waterway with access points and information kiosks and signage along the route) as a way to boost economic development, bring in tourism, and increase recreational opportunities. The Lower Oconee Water Trail is one of such trails currently under development in Baldwin county with goals of continued development into Wilkinson, Laurens, Washington, Johnson, Wheeler, Treutlen and Montgomery counties. Georgia River Network Community

Author Joe Cook has written an excellent book "Oconee River Guidebook"
Purchase your copy at
Powells Books

Your local library probably has a copy of Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia by Suzanne Welander and Bob Sehlinger
also available from Powells Books

Explore some points of interest along the river with this interactive web map.
Put-inTake-outDistanceElapse Time
Sinclair Dam Oconee Greenway 4 miles 2-3 hours
Oconee Greenway DNR boat ramp 4.5 miles 2-4 hours
DNR boat ramp Balls Ferry 38 miles weekend trip
Balls Ferry Beaverdam Swamp 7 miles 4-6 hours
Beaverdam Swamp JC Landing 2 miles 1 hour
JC Landing Blackshear Ferry 8.5 miles 5-7 hours
Blackshear Ferry East Dublin Boat Ramp 5 miles 2-6 hours

Contiguous segments can be combined for longer trips. Consult your local outfitter for current river knowledge.

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River level at Oconee River Greenway in Milledgeville
River level at Ball's Ferry
The word "Oconee" referes to a tribe of Native Americans who lived in south and central Georgia prior to the arrival European settlers.
Kayak rentals and shuttle are available in Milledgeville from Oconee Outfitters and Mac's Yaks.
Further south in Dublin, contact Downstream Kayak Rental.
Information on this page is derived from the following sources: