They say every great invention starts with a simple idea. Well, in the case of the Ocmulgee Blueway, it starts with a canoe and paddle to boot. Join the Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Canoeing Association, Hawkinsville Better Hometown and Rivers Alive on a two-day river celebration that includes camping, paddling, music and fun on the banks of the Ocmulgee River. The weekend includes paddle trips led by a naturalist, beginner canoe instruction, a river cleanup, bluegrass music and a BBQ dinner. When: Friday evening registration beings at 5 PM at Mile Branch Park Saturday morning canoe and kayak shuttles leave Mile Branch Park at 9 AM Saturday evening program and dinner begins at 6 PM Costs: Paddle rates start at $25 per person and packaged rates start at $50 for camping Friday and Saturday night. Bluegrass is free and local folks are invited to join us for BBQ on Saturday evening for $10 a plate. Price includes transportation, guided tour, riverside cookout Friday night and BBQ dinner for Saturday night. Price does not include canoe or kayak. You can register for a canoe when you register for the trip. Pre-purchasing is suggested. Details to follow. Day paddlers (2 days of shuttle support, a naturalist guided paddle, BBQ dinner, bluegrass concert, and a Georgia Conservancy membership): $25 per person $35 per couple $50 per family Campers: (2 days of shuttle support, a naturalist guided paddle, riverside cookout (Friday) BBQ dinner (Saturday), bluegrass concert, camping & equipment if needed, and Georgia Conservancy membership) $50 per person $80 per couple $150 per family BBQ Dinner - $10 Camping: Mile Branch Landing / Hawkinsville - Pulaski County Riverfront Park A beautiful 24-acre riverfront park offering water access points and opportunities for hiking, camping and environmental education. Mile Branch Landing was created through a partnership with Hawkinsville Better Hometown and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Includes bathrooms, shower house, walking trails and river access. Paddling: We will start each shuttle at Mile Branch Park in Hawkinsville at 9:00 a.m. Saturday's paddle will be from Mile Branch Boat Landing in Hawkinsville to Sandy Hammock in Hawkinsville (Pulaski County) - almost in Wilcox County (14 Miles). We will do a shorter 5-6 mile paddle on Sunday using a private landing. We will explore over 20 miles of the new "Ocmulgee Blueway” before this paddle is over. The river conditions are appropriate for paddlers of all abilities. Please bring a watercraft suitable for a 14-mile paddle. If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Afternoon and Evening Events: Starting at 6 PM the Georgia Conservancy will host a free evening of bluegrass on the banks of the Ocmulgee. BBQ will be available for $10 a plate and includes a drink. Concluding the Saturday evening festivities, Rivers Alive and the Georgia Canoeing Association will hold a conversation around the campfire, presenting their vision for the Ocmulgee Blueway. What is a Blueway? A blueway is a water path or trail that is developed with launch points, camping locations and points of interest for canoeists and kayakers. Blueways are typically developed by state, county or local municipalities to encourage family recreation, economic development, ecological education and preservation of our wildlife resources. The Ocmulgee Blueway Project, formed in partnership with groups from Bleckley, Houston, Twiggs and Pulaski counties, consists of approximately 54 miles on the Ocmulgee flowing through all four counties and includes camping, paddling and river access points. An email with more specific schedule details will be sent two weeks before the event to those who have registered. The Ocmulgee River Paddle is one of our twelve Heartland Rivers of Georgia trips featuring camping, paddling and stewardship in south and central Georgia. The series brings to light conservation efforts, economic development and recreational opportunities on the Flint, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Chattahoochee, Altamaha, Satilla and Savannah rivers. Largely unknown to the Georgia outdoor enthusiast, Georgia’s heartland rivers are a treasure trove of unparalleled natural beauty and recreation opportunity just a short drive from home.