Alapaha River

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Not to be confused with Alabaha River.
The Alapaha River at Statenville, Georgia, during a period of drought in 2000

The Alapaha River /əˈlæpəhɑː/ is a 202-mile-long (325 km)[1] river in southern Georgia and northern Florida in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suwannee River, which flows to the Gulf of Mexico.


The Alapaha River rises in southeastern Dooly County, Georgia, and flows generally southeastwardly through or along the boundaries of Crisp, Wilcox, Turner, Ben Hill, Irwin, Tift, Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Echols Counties in Georgia, and Hamilton County in Florida, where it flows into the Suwannee River 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Jasper. Along its course it passes the Georgia towns of Rebecca, Alapaha, Willacoochee, Lakeland, and Statenville.

Near Willacoochee, Georgia, the Alapaha collects the Willacoochee River. In Florida, it collects the Alapahoochee River and the short Little Alapaha River, which rises in Echols County, Georgia, and flows southwestward.

Intermittent river[edit]

The Alapaha River is an intermittent river for part of its course. During periods of low volume, the river disappears underground and becomes a subterranean river. At approximately 2.3 miles (3.7 km) downstream from Jennings, Florida is a river sinkhole variously known as the Alapaha River Sink, Suck Hole, or the Devil's Den on the western bank of the river. A few more miles downstream is a second sinkhole known as the Dead River Sink or the Siphon. At the latter point during the periods of low water flow, the river disappears underground leaving a dry bank for much of the remainder of its course. The Alapaha River later reappears at the Alapaha River Rise, which is about a half mile upstream from the confluence of the Alapaha River and the Suwanee River (30°26′46″N 83°05′51″W / 30.446044°N 83.097483°W / 30.446044; -83.097483). During a period of low rainfall over 11 miles (17.7 km) of the riverbed can be dry as the river goes underground.

Image of the entire surface water flow of the Alapaha River near Jennings, Florida going into a sinkhole leading to the Floridan Aquifer groundwater.

Variant names[edit]

The United States Board on Geographic Names settled on "Alapaha River" as the stream's name in 1891. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known as:

  • Alabaha River
  • Alapa Haw River
  • Alapa Hawchu River
  • Alla-pa-ha River
  • Allallehaw River
  • Allapacoochee River
  • Allapaha River
  • Allapauhau River
  • Allaphaw River
  • Allappaha River
  • Allopohaw River
  • Alloppehaw River
  • Alopaha River
  • Elapaha River
  • Lappahaw River
  • Lop Haw River
  • Lopaha River
  • Lopahatchy River
  • Loppahaw River
  • Low Haw River
  • Popaha River


Crossing Carries Image Location ID number Coordinates


PVT. George W. Lee Memorial Bridge Georgia 135.svg SR 135 31°18′11″N 83°03′12″W / 31.302988°N 83.053354°W / 31.302988; -83.053354
Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as Ocilla, Pinebloom and Valdosta Railroad
31°03′14″N 83°02′23″W / 31.053811°N 83.039627°W / 31.053811; -83.039627
Georgia 168.svg SR 168
Georgia 64.svg SR 64
31°09′25″N 83°02′22″W / 31.156844°N 83.039514°W / 31.156844; -83.039514
Waycross and Western Railroad (Closed 1925, defunct) 31°03′14″N 83°02′23″W / 31.053811°N 83.039627°W / 31.053811; -83.039627
Captain Henry Will Jones Bridge US 129.svgUS 129
Georgia 11.svg SR 11
Lakeland, Georgia to Homerville, Georgia 31°02′46″N 83°02′36″W / 31.046217°N 83.043361°W / 31.046217; -83.043361
Hotchkiss Bridge Old State Road/Old River/Hotchiss Road (Defunct) 30°56′11″N 83°02′26″W / 30.936513°N 83.040614°W / 30.936513; -83.040614
US 84.svgUS 84
Georgia 38.svg SR 38
Naylor, Georgia to Stockton, Georgia 30°55′28″N 83°02′14″W / 30.924563°N 83.037216°W / 30.924563; -83.037216
CSX Transportation
Line formerly known as the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad
30°55′27″N 83°02′13″W / 30.924074°N 83.036841°W / 30.924074; -83.036841
Lee Bridge (Defunct) 30°51′30″N 83°01′25″W / 30.858398°N 83.023588°W / 30.858398; -83.023588
Carters Bridge (Defunct) Troupville, Georgia to Magnolia, Georgia.
Howell Road Mayday, Georgia 30°49′41″N 83°01′07″W / 30.828193°N 83.018549°W / 30.828193; -83.018549
Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as the Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway
Mayday, Georgia 30°49′37″N 83°01′06″W / 30.826888°N 83.018458°W / 30.826888; -83.018458
Georgia 94.svg SR 94 Statenville, Georgia 30°42′14″N 83°01′58″W / 30.703908°N 83.032683°W / 30.703908; -83.032683


Florida 150.svg SR 150 Jennings, Florida to Jasper, Florida 30°35′54″N 83°04′24″W / 30.598471°N 83.073230°W / 30.598471; -83.073230
Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as Georgia Southern and Florida Railway
30°35′53″N 83°04′24″W / 30.598135°N 83.073226°W / 30.598135; -83.073226
NW 14th Terrace (Defunct) 30°35′37″N 83°03′55″W / 30.593586°N 83.065301°W / 30.593586; -83.065301
US 41.svg US 41 Jennings, Florida to Jasper, Florida 30°31′44″N 83°02′18″W / 30.528814°N 83.038319°W / 30.528814; -83.038319
I-75.svg Interstate 75 30°29′57″N 83°02′27″W / 30.499170°N 83.040930°W / 30.499170; -83.040930
(Defunct) 30°27′12″N 83°05′22″W / 30.453340°N 83.089351°W / 30.453340; -83.089351
SW County Road 751 Alapaha River Rise 30°26′55″N 83°05′49″W / 30.448605°N 83.096923°W / 30.448605; -83.096923


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 18, 2011

External Links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°26′12″N 83°05′47″W / 30.4366062°N 83.0965262°W / 30.4366062; -83.0965262