First Saturday Paddle - April
First Saturday Paddle
Wolf River / Ghost Section
La Grange, TN. to Bateman Bridge
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Launch Time: 9:00 AM End Time: 16:30 (approx.)
Come along with our River Guides on an early spring trip through the premier paddling destination in West Tennessee, the “GHOST” section of the Wolf River. On this trip, you will paddle through five different environmental ecosystems. Launching in a bottomland hardwood forest, you will progress downstream through wetland forests, cypress swamp, an open water cypress/tupelo swamp (Spirit Lake) and ending the paddle exiting through grassy wetlands. Come along and hear our river guides tell the exciting history about these swamps and wetlands that were saved from complete destruction in 1995. Due to narrow passages, shallow waterways and dense undergrowth canoes or kayaks are still the only craft that can pass through these waters. Through this section, the river has been allowed to naturally evolve since it formed at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch almost 12,000 years ago.
The Ghost Section of the Wolf River in the southwest corner of Tennessee is an area of mystery. Early boating attempts to navigate this section would soon find out the river just simply disappeared. Hence one of the explanations for the name Ghost. The river has been allowed to shape its course naturally and is always a pleasure to enjoy at the slow pace of a paddle.
We recommend you register early to allow us to better plan for the trip. WRC further recommends potential paddlers read the on line “ River Section Description”, “Wolf River Access Map” and “Safety Information” all under the “Paddling the Wolf River” tab at www.wolfriver.org/
This trip will be led by our Wolf River Conservancy River Guides. Questions about the event can be directed to Jeff Sojourner (email firstname.lastname@example.org, cell/text 901-573-6307) or Jim Gafford (email email@example.com, cell/text 901-573-2353).
Be sure to dress in quick dry (exercise like) clothing and protect all parts of your body with either clothing or sunscreen. Shoes should securely attach to your feet and offer protection. Remember the Wolf loves to consume Crocs, sandals and flip flops as well as it does cameras and other electronic equipment. Also bring snacks, water, sunscreen and a lunch to enjoy on the river.
For Those Renting Boats: Our recommended outfitter for this trip is Ghost River Rentals (www.ghostriverrentals.com) who will shuttle you and your personal items. You will meet the outfitter at the appointed time and at the Bateman Road take-out parking lot. Contact the outfitter early to discuss options and arrangements for your participation.
For Those Bringing boats: You will meet our River Guides at the TWRA boat ramp on Yager Drive south of La Grange, TN. Arrive at the put-in by 8:00 am if you would like to shuttle your vehicle to the take-out on Bateman Road prior to paddling. The final pre-paddle shuttle will leave at 8:30. If you are unable to make these, we will conduct another at the end of the event.
Parking Disclaimer: You should be able to leave your vehicle in the relatively safe Put-in and Take-out parking areas, however WRC cannot guarantee conditions at the time of launch. WRC is not responsible for loss or damage to private property on or off the river.
SAFETY and PFD requirement: Participants in Wolf River Conservancy on river programs will be required to wear a US Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while on the river. Children must wear child size approved PFD’s. If you are renting a craft, the outfitter will provide you with an approved PFD as part of the rental package. Those using boats provided by WRC will be supplied PFD’s and paddles as well. There are no exceptions to the PFD requirements. Please note that they must also be securely fastened at all times. Please do not use the “belt type” units that are popular with the SUP community. These are single discharge units and cannot easily be reloaded once deployed.
Although the Wolf River is rated as a class one river (little whitewater), conditions can rapidly change. It is imperative that boaters realistically evaluate their experience and abilities related to the section being paddled before launching into the water. Any concerns can be addressed with our river guides. Any decisions and recommendations will always favor the most cautious and safest solution.
If you have questions about the trip, contact Jim Gafford at 901.573.2353 (cell/text) or firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
We look forward to your participation in this event.