About Rio Piedra

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Rio Piedra Plantation: A Georgia Hunting Lodge Steeped in Tradition

Rio Piedra Plantation is located about 25 miles south of Albany, Georgia in what is known as the South Georgia Plantation Belt. The Plantation Belt is an area of about 400,000 acres that stretches from Albany to Tallahassee and contains a number of private Georgia hunting plantations that work together to create an environment where bobwhite quail not only survive, but thrive.

The rich history of the Plantation Belt as we know it today is a fascinating chapter in our nation’s story. During the Reconstruction era and New Industrial Age, wealthy industrialists rode the train as far south as it would go in search of fresh air, warmer weather and good hunting land. They quickly discovered everything they were looking for among the longleaf pines, rolling hills, and sprawling old plantation homes that surrounded the then-emerging winter resort town of Thomasville, Georgia. Soon after the popularity of quail hunting took off with the development of the modern shotgun, many wanted to purchase their own winter retreat in Southwest Georgia. At the time, land in this area was relatively inexpensive due to various factors ranging from depressed crop prices, over-farming and an infestation of the boll weevil. Seeing an opportunity, many of the plantations in the region were acquired by wealthy families from the Northeast and Midwest. Since then there has been relatively little turnover, and most of the hunting lodges in Georgia are still owned by descendants of the very same families that first invested in the area over a hundred years ago.

You’ll find that not much has changed in our part of the world, except for maybe how our guests arrive to the Plantation Belt. While planes and cars have long since replaced the railroad, the traditions and lifestyle the Plantation Belt offers have endured. What you’ll find is a place that has weathered the test of time and retains many of the qualities that attracted prominent industrialists and their families to the Plantation Belt following the Civil War: a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the opportunity to connect with nature and friends, and the thrill of an unparalleled experience quail hunting in Georgia.

Once an old turpentine plantation, the house and surrounding property that is now Rio Piedra Plantation was bought in 2000 by a couple from Atlanta, Bill and Annie Atchison. Bill, who grew up hunting rabbit and then quail later in life, fell in love with the area on a trip to South Georgia with clients. And although he had no prior experience owning and operating Georgia hunting plantations, he and Annie found themselves up for the challenge in their “retirement.”

That was pretty much the end of any sort of traditional retirement plan for the Atchisons. In just under 20 years, Rio Piedra Plantation has been awarded the Orvis Wingshooting Lodge of the Year Award not once but three times. That’s a feat that has not only eluded all other hunting lodges in Georgia but also all other hunting lodges in the world.

And, while we’re proud of this amazing accomplishment, we never stop thinking about our guests and what they want: a 5-star experience that stays true to the rich tradition of quail hunting in Georgia.

Our property spans both banks of the Flint River and encompasses thousands of acres of picturesque hunting grounds. We offer our guests hunts that are natural and unfettered as well as upscale accommodations and the best dining experience of any hunting plantation in Georgia.

Beautiful hunting lodge
Natural surroundings

Experience the Thrill of Quail Hunting South Georgia Style

Come to Rio Piedra Plantation, and you’ll find a quail hunting lodge that fuses tradition and modern amenities perfectly. With plentiful quail, exceptional cuisine, and a knowledgeable staff, we promise that your stay at Rio Piedra Plantation will be unforgettable.

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