Sopchoppy River Report
(FR329 Martian Bdg to Oak Park)


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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 9/1/2012 
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Six paddlers ventured out to paddle the beautiful, scenic Sopchoppy River. The paddlers included, Charlotte H. (trying out her new boat); John L., Kathy N., Claudia M., Carol S., and Don K. The Sopchoppy was at 13.7 ft. and the cfs was 409.

My Report:

On September 1, 2012, on short notice, six paddlers ventured out to paddle the beautiful, scenic Sopchoppy River. The paddlers included, Charlotte H. (trying out her new boat); John L., Kathy N., Claudia M., Carol S., and Don K. The Sopchoppy was at 13.7 ft. and the cfs was 409. The group put in at FR 329 (Martian Bridge) and ended their trip at FR 346 (Oak Park Bridge) for an approximate 5 mile paddle. The access point at Martian Bridge was a little steep and only large enough for one boat at a time to launch into the water. The paddling conditions were bright, sunny and a little humid, but with tree coverage and a light breeze tolerable and pleasant. As we paddled along, we encountered a couple of areas that were a little challenging and the worst being a log that almost stretched completely across the river. Other obstacles were minor and involved ducking under limbs or going through narrow spaces. We briefly stopped at a small, sandy beach to eat lunch and one paddler hopped in for a swim. The water was cool and refreshing and the beach was large enough to accommodate all boats and paddlers. We estimated this stop was approximately 2.7 miles into the trip and it was the only place we found that would accommodate all paddlers.



John paddled a short trip up Monkey Creek (maybe 150 feet) and, he was stopped short by a log across the stream that was about 10 inches above the water. Unfortunately, the log was too high to get over (steep banks on both sides) and too low to get under which quickly put an end to his side trip. Overall, it was an easy float trip, with green mossy banks and many trees that offered a canopied water trail. Many of which were very old hollow cypress trees that twisted and towered in various shapes and sizes. Because the Sopchoppy River is relatively narrow and consists of many twists, curves, trees, and logs paying attention is considered a necessity or one would risk the possibility of running into something. The current kept us moving at a good pace and actual paddling was limited to steering around many obstacles that we encountered along the way.



The take out at Oak Park Bridge (FR 343) past the bridge on the right was very steep making it possible to take out only one boat at a time. As we were getting out, we met two young men from the Tall Timbers who were catching pigmy rattlers and measuring their size, etc. They had caught 4 during the week and were in the process of letting one go that they eventually released into the woods.



We retired to the Backwoods Bistro for lunch in downtown Sopchoppy just across from City Hall. A good meal and a good time were had by all except for one paddler who had lunch on the trip and, unfortunately, missed and incredible meal.



From South Tallahassee head south on US 319 (Crawfordville Rd) for 15 miles, turn right on Arran Rd (CR 368) downtown Crawfordville. Go 3.5 miles then take a slight left onto Forest Rd 365 and go for 2.5 miles and turn right onto Forest Rd 348 for 2.6 miles. Then turn Left onto Forest Rd 329 go for 0.3 miles and cross the bridge. The put in is on the right or northwest side of the river. 30.061889,-84.491773.



For the turnaround go back to Forest Rd 348 (0.3 miles) turn right and go for 0.6 miles turn right Forest Rd 349 for 1.8 miles. Turn right on Oak Park Rd and go for 0.9 miles, then right on Forest Rd 343 for 0.4 miles. The take out is on the left across the bridge (southwest side). 30.12978,-84.49394

The river gage is a t the take out bridge on Forest Rd 343 see the web site http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/uv?site_no=02327100 .

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: 0


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThere are 10 miles of paddling upstream of this trip and 10 miles down stream.



Post Date: 9/2/2012

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.