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. 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


  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