Residents Fight To Keep River Access Road From Closing

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By Greg Gullberg
Feb. 13, 2013

Lowndes Co., GA - Many Lowndes County residents enjoy spending time at a popular hang out spot on the Alapaha River in Naylor, Georgia on Lowndes County's Eastern Border.

It looks like a boat ramp, but it's not, they're actually hanging out on an old road. But it may soon be closed to the public.

That makes people like Brett Huntley upset. He and his wife have been going to that spot for 13 years.

"This time of the year it dies down a little but during the summer it's almost a cultural experience to go see the different kinds of people because there is almost every kind of person imaginable down there," Huntley said.

They call it the Hotchkiss Crossing because it used to be the Hotchkiss Bridge. You can still see remains of where the bridge used to be on both sides.

Brett Huntley and his wife have taken up a petition to keep the County Commission from closing the road and they say they have over 250 signatures. But it's not the commission that wants to close it, it's the land owner. All of the land is private property but because the county maintains the road it's open to the public, even though the river is not. And the owner is concerned about liability.

"There's a lot of trespassing, alcohol consumption, fights, littering, there have been many fires set over the years," said Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Clerk.

Even if the crossing closes, the land owner welcomes public events and baptisms, just call first for permission.

The commission is expected to make a final decision at the next meeting in two weeks on Feb. 26.