The Georgia River Network (GRN) is hosting their paddle-a-thon competition, encouraging Georgians to visit the state’s rivers and explore more than 220 miles of expanding water trail system. This year, the organization is offering up more than $8000 in prizes to those who compete by canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding.

The prizes are part of the organization’s paddle-a-thon competition where participants compete in more than a dozen categories, including most miles paddled, most trash removed, and most kayak fishing trips.

“People who venture out on our state’s rivers inevitably want to see those rivers protected; that’s why we want people out exploring our rivers,” said Rena Peck, GRN executive director, “Our annual paddle-a-thon is one of our most important fundraisers and this year, in celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary, we are expanding the paddle-a-thon competition to include non-fundraising categories and get more people involved in our river movement.”

Contestants can log their paddle trips on the GRN’s paddle-a-thon website where regular updates will be posted to track the top paddlers.

“We know there are paddlers out there that logged nearly 1,000 miles on Georgia’s rivers in 2022,” said Peck. “paddle-a-thon gives everyone a chance to use the miles they paddle to protect the rivers they love.”

The paddle-a-thon competition started on the New Year and runs through Sept. 6. Winners will be announced in the fall. Participants can register to compete and view a full list of prize categories and prizes at Potential paddle routes are available on the organization’s Georgia River Guide App, the app is free on Google and Apple app stores.

Paddle-a-thon registration fees are $35 and include a year’s membership in GRN, a paddle-a-thon bandana and a $20 discount to participate in one of Georgia River Network’s river adventure trips or kayaking skills and water safety classes during 2023.

The organization has 17 on-water events planned for 2023, including its signature event, Paddle Georgia 2023, a week-long, 100-mile journey on the Savannah River set for June 24-July 1. The unique adventure is the largest week-long canoe or kayak camping journey in the country. More than 250 people are expected to participate.

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