Dry Creek Report
(Dry Creek in Jackson County)

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Report By:  paddlesolo    Date: 3/21/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: None     Map & Directions: View

This is a five mile run from a private landing (open to paddlers) in SW Jackson County. Paddlers start by paddling upstream to Black Spring, a river rise for Dry Creek, and following the water out into Spring Lake and then downstream into Dry Creek.

My Report:

Several members of the Apalachee Club had previously paddled Dry Creek on trips I had led for the West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club, so I was contacted to lead an official trip for the ACKA. There is nothing I like better than having fun with paddlers, so a trip was arranged very quickly.

On a beautiful spring day twelve paddlers met Frances at the Golden Arches on SR 71 and signed the trip form and loaded up for the shuttle to the put-in off of Mystery Springs Road. In spite of the fact that the area is posted by hunters, the owner has given permission for the public to use the landing. Locals put small fishing boats in, and swim at the foot of the put-in, and paddlers use it to begin a downstream paddle. There is a very rough, bumpy dirt track down to the creek. Most of us stayed at the top of the hill, and carried our boats and gear down to the put-in.

The first thing that people unfamiliar with the area notice, is that the downstream run is blocked by a fallen tree, fortunately that is not the way to go. The trip leader led the group upstream into a pond-like area called Black Spring. It is actually a "rise" for Dry Creek which has gone underground further upstream, and makes its' above ground appearance again in Black Spring. The group paddled to the right through a small opening into broad, shallow Spring Lake. This is the lower section of the lake and is choked with many different kinds of water plants. The paddlers had to tediously push their boats through the plants and paddle through tall rushes. After paddling a short distance we reached Dry Creek proper, which forms into a small creek with a sandy bottom.

The area is remote and hardwood river swamp lines both sides of the creek. There are not good places to get out, although if the weather is warm there are shallow places where one could stand in the water. There are many underwater and overhanging obstructions. One paddler found out the hard way, and took a swim. At another spot, the trip leader jumped into the creek, and guided the canoes and kayaks through the branches of a fallen tree. In one spot a couple in the tandem canoe were stuck on a stob and going in circles, before finally getting free and paddling downstream again.

There were kayaks, solo canoes, and one tandem canoe on the paddle. Everyone was able to maneuver down the creek, but it isn't a good paddle for long boats because of the twisty nature of the stream. Close to the end of the paddle is a private landing that paddlers often use for a stretch. Today the owner was putting a boat in the creek, so we merrily paddled by, coming to a small, dirt landing on the left side of the creek right before the SR 73 bridge. Two boats can beach at a time, and we all helped pull the boats up out of the way as the rest of the paddlers arrived at the landing.

Most of the group ended up at the Old Ice House Restaurant on Spring Creek and swap their favorite paddling stories, and discussed future paddles. I won't forget that Jerry has promised to lead a paddle through Dead Lakes, and that Leigh is going to guide us down Spring Creek in Southern Georgia before the tubers hit the water. Frances has promised to lead a Chipola River paddle from SR Road 20 to Scott's Ferry.

Shuttle Directions to the Take-out: Head west on Mystery Springs Road to SR 167, Turn left and drive to Laramore Road, the first paved road that turns left, make a left hand turn and continue until Laramore Road T's in at SR 73, turn left, and the parking area is on the left immediately across Dry Creek Bridge.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: free

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsFlorida Caverns State Park, Three Rivers State Park, the beginning of the Chipola River Paddling Trail, Merritt's Millpond, Spring Creek, and Jackson Blue Springs are all located in Jackson County.

Post Date: 3/21/2009

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