Lee Co. opens creek kayak slip on trial basis

Lee Co. opens creek kayak slip on trial basis
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - On Tuesday, Lee County commissioners opened the Sandy Beach canoe and kayak slip on the Kinchafoonee Creek.

It's been closed for more than four years.

Businesses said that this will be a big improvement for their creek tour industry and enthusiasts.

But officers warn that the community must follow some conditions, or the slip will be closed again.

Ryan Edmonds readies kayaks for his customers in his Up The Creek business at the now open Sandy Beach Kayak and Canoe Slip.

"Kayaking over the last few years here in Leesburg, Georgia has really taken off," Edmonds said.

Commissioners also saw that, and on Tuesday, voted to open the slip off Sandy Beach Road.

It was closed by the county four years ago because officials said it had become a disorderly hangout spot.

"That disturbs the neighbors. The neighbors got tired of hearing all the language, the loudness, every weekend. Every Monday following the weekend, trash saturated the ground out here. So it became a big nuisance for the neighbors and the county as well," explained Lee County Code Enforcement Officer Ben Roberts.

But public use of the Kinchafoonee now has skyrocketed, and commissioners want to make it available.

"Most beautiful creek in South Georgia," said Edmonds. "It's got waterfalls, Blue Hole, everybody wants to see the Blue Hole. It's just a very pretty creek."

So, commissioners have opened the slip on a 90-day trial basis, to see if the public will use it the way county officials require.

"Again, the lot is for a launch spot only. Bring canoes, kayaks, put them in, take them out here but don't hang around," Roberts said. "Don't loiter. Don't be drinking alcohol down here. That kind of thing."

With this slip open, Edmonds said his business will increase because he will be able to offer 3-hour floats instead of only 5-hour trips.

"We got you kids that are not able to make the long float, so that will help with that," explained Edmonds. "And along with elderly, people that can not make that long float."

Lee County officials will cut back the vegetation along the creek slip in the coming days, to make it more accessible.

Edmonds said this weekend his kayaks are fully booked, with customers wanting to take advantage of the shorter floats now available with the new slip opening.

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