Few people outside a handful of locals, timber company employees, and hunters have ever heard of or visited the Chickasawhatchee Swamp, yet it is the largest wetland in the Flint River Basin and the second largest deep-water swamp in Georgia.
The Chickasawhatchee Swamp is a convergence area of drainages in its watershed of approximately 335 square miles. Water from the creeks spreads out and regularly floods vast areas of bottomland hardwood forests. Here the swamp functions much like a giant tea bag that releases large quantities of nutritious matter from decaying vegetation and stains the water a deep, golden-brown color.
From this interaction of forest, creeks, and wetlands emerges a complex food web, which supports a variety of wildlife. A diverse assemblage of reptiles including many species of turtles and snakes, as well as a large population of alligators thrives in the swamp. The wetland areas are used as rookeries by native wood storks and also serve as nesting areas for neotropical migrants such as the wood thrush and prothonotory warbler, which depend on the unique web of life that begins in the swamp.
For those that are ready to get out and see the Chickasawhatchee Swamp first-hand, you may want to try a canoe or kayak. I know my friends at Georgia Canoing Association schedule trips to the Flint River Basin. Don't forget to bring your OFF!