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Jones County considers river access at Jarrell Plantation

The Georgia Department of Economic Development gives Jones County a report saying why river access at the plantation benefits the community.

If you like going out on the Ocmulgee River, Jones County is looking for a safer way to get you to the water. The Tourism Product Development Resource team with the Georgia Department of Economic Development surveyed some hot spots in Jones County. While there, they presented a report explaining why river access at the Jarrell Historic Plantation could help people. 

The Ocumulgee River stretches more than 250 miles long, but in Jones County, it can be difficult to get to. Haley Watson with the Gray-Jones County Chamber of Commerce says they want a safe way for people to get out on the water by adding river access.

"We are going to throughout the year, be pursuing that and seeing what we can come up with and how we can work with the park and Jarrell Plantation to development something like that," Watson said.

She says a report after a survey of Jones County said an access point at the plantation would bring more people into the community.

"Because if they are coming here, they are probably buying gas or they are buying bait to go fishing, or they are buying drinks to float down the river," said Watson. 

With no easy way to get to the river, Watson says people are using dangerous routes to get there. There are no parking signs on a narrow bridge on Highway 18 that people use to get to the river according to Watson.

"Now, they are walking a good bit past the 'no parking' signs and then they have to cross over to get to the other side of the bridge to the access point they have created," said Watson. 

She says a drop-off point at the plantation could solve that problem.

"It's kind of like a hidden gem in Jones County," said Watson. 

Watson says they hope to complete the project within the next year or two if plans go forward.