From the desk of Steve Rainey, Flint RiverQuarium Canoe Guide
Anyone who has participated in the RiverQuarium canoe trips is familiar with the
boat ramp at the North Mitchell Park, formerly known as Punk’s. It’s commonly referred
to by all users of the river as “that really steep boat ramp”! Well, the good news is that
the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recognized the inconvenience of “that
really steep boat ramp” and has set about to rectify the situation. A couple of weeks ago
work began to lower the ramp. I stopped by recently and watched as a big Cat D-6
pushed massive amounts of sand from the bottom to the top of the hill. Just estimating,
I’d say the level of the ramp at the top of the hill was already a good ten to twelve feet
lower than it was originally.
Johnny Singletary at the Flint River Outpost said he had been told that in two to
three weeks they would begin pouring cement. Can you imagine--no more Thrill Hill to
back down with the distinct possibility that you, your vehicle and boat trailer could
easily disappear over the edge? To that I say W-H-E-W!
The bad news, of course, is that with all the construction going on, the ramp has
to be closed to boat traffic until the work is completed. How long will that be? Two or
three months, depending on the tropical storm season. Worse yet, we are in the
middle of our canoe trip schedule and were faced with having to cancel the rest of the trips.
Just upstream lies the Georgia Power Company boat ramp at Plant Mitchell. This
ramp has been closed to the public for several years due to the twin evils of abuse (read
littering) and liability. But in an attempt to salvage our canoe trips, I stopped by to
inquire as to whether or not they would let us use their ramp to take out. I wound up
talking to Plant Manager Steve Greene. We discussed the twin evils and Georgia Power’s
reluctance to open the gate to public use of their ramp. In other words, the short
answer was no. But Steve said, “Let me make a call.”
The next day, Steve called and said we could indeed use the ramp for the take
out for the remainder of our canoe trips! I thanked him profusely and then inquired as
to what he had to say to the powers-that-be to convince them to let us use the ramp.
He said, “Because it’s the RiverQuarium” and went on to explain that they have
other ties to the facility.
The whole reason for writing this is to publically acknowledge Georgia Power’s
community involvement, their interest in the continued success of the RiverQuarium,
and their participation in the education of local citizens about our valuable natural
resource the Flint River. Thank you, Steve Greene, and thank you, Georgia Power