Sunday, May 21, 2017, Cypress Ponds and River Bluffs, Alapaha River WMA, Irwin County

Posted under: South Georgia .

Meet:  10:00 AM, kiosk entrance way, Alapaha River WMA, US Hwy. 319, one mi. north of bridge over Alapaha River in Irwin County (see below).

Description:  A newly established 7,000-acre Wildlife Management Area with rare plant habitats and, perhaps, one of the state’s largest concentrations of gopher tortoises!  Although much of the tract is in planted pine, there is great botanical diversity.  Natural sand ridges, cypress ponds, bogs and river bluffs provide opportunities to see silky camellia (Stewartia malacodendron), willow-leaved meadowbeauty (Rhexia salicifolia), pondspice (Litsea aestivalis), various bog plants, and the “whiplash habit” of Pickering’s morning-glory (Stylisma pickeringii).  The site is also known for such wildlife as fox squirrels, indigo snakes, pine snakes, and mole skinks.

Location:  The WMA is along the east side of the Alapaha River just as you enter Irwin Co. from Tift Co. on the right side of US Hwy. 319 between Tifton and Ocilla. 

Walking:  Short, easy walks from vehicles with limited off trail excursions.

Facilities:   No facilities on site.

Bring:  Rubber boots or good hiking boots recommended due to some brushy habitats; tick and insect repellent; no really wet areas will be attempted.

Leader:  Tom Patrick (706) 476-4541, tom.patrick@dnr.ga.gov.   Note:  Roads in WMA are generally excellent except for being high in the middle with coarse gravel.  Best to carpool or drive a good field car with high carriage and good treads. We will drive slowly, but may do several miles – fill your tanks!