Sprewell Bluff Outdoor Recreation Area
A short 50 mile trip heading south from Atlanta will bring you to one of Georgia's most peaceful outdoor recreation areas. Sprewell Bluff Park is located on Highway 74, about 10 miles west of Thomaston. The enormous park features 10 picnic sites with grills, a scenic lake that allows private crafts (limits set on motors), a three-mile hiking trail, and several streams. Fishing is permitted in the park's lake and streams in season.
This little-known gem on the free flowing Flint River is one of Upson County’s greatest assets. It rests in the Plains Region of Georgia offering an outdoor haven for water sport enthusiasts. Paddle boaters, and anglers are attracted to the 1,372-acre parcel. Recreation ranges from a pleasant cool-off in the gently flowing river, to exciting kayak runs among the river's boulder-strewn waters, to utilizing the volleyball court and playground area. Rocky bluffs and a mixture of pine and hardwoods grace the Flint River shores. A boat ramp is available for canoeists, kayakers, rafters and anglers and canoes may be rented from River Bridge Boat Rentals (706-647-2633). Wildflowers add their beauty to the park along with a variety of wildlife including deer, raccoon, rabbits, squirrels and birds such as wood thrushes, woodpeckers and mockingbirds.
The Montane Longleaf Community found at Sprewell Bluff, and the Natural areas across the river, are a rocky slope, ridge top community that is composed of Longleaf Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Sand Hickory, Post Oak, Chestnut Oak, Sparkleberry, and a variety of native grasses. Before European Settlement, natural fires, and fires set by Native Americans, maintained this community. But, with settlement, the old Longleaf Pine was turpentined, logged, or began to disappear as the land was farmed and used as grazing area for cattle. Fire was suppressed, and without fire, other trees like Loblolly Pine, less fire resistant oaks, and sweetgum moved in, and eventually, changed the habitat. Now, only puzzle pieces, little remnants of what used to be, survive as clues about what the forest looked like long ago. The land where Sprewell Bluff outdoor recreation area is located is owned by Georgia Power Company, but it is leased by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for the park. Approximately 150 acres is used for the park and the remaining acreage is called Sprewell Bluff Natural Area, offering archery-only hunting.
At one time, a dam on the Flint River was proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Governor Jimmy Carter was invited to float the Flint and see the natural beauty that would be destroyed by the installment of a major lake. Realizing this, Governor Carter vetoed the proposal and the Flint River was saved. Sprewell Bluff is the only outdoor recreation area located on the Flint River. It is unique in its natural history, having one of the few Montane Longleaf Pine forests left. The site also protects the threatened Blue Darter fish and the Flint River is one of a few places that Shoal Bass or "Redeye Bass" is located in Georgia. Sprewell Bluff was named for its original 1850’s owner, Jeptha Sprewell.
Sprewell Bluff Park is open from dawn to dusk and is operated by Upson County. There is a $5 parking fee for visiting Sprewell Bluff. If you would like more information please call 706-647-7012.
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