Sopchoppy River Report
(Sopchoppy River FR 329 bridge)

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 4/20/2013 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 12 photos     Map & Directions: View

Wounderful dark water stream, but at 11 ft requires serious paddling skills. Lots of cypruss roots and down trees.

My Report:

Sopchoppy River 04/20/2013

Eight hearty souls braved what looked like bad weather and cool temperatures to do the five mile section of the Sopchoppy between FR 329 (Martian Bridge) and FR 343 (Oak Park Bridge). Our crew consisted of Tom Butler (who was extremely helpful in so many ways), Lynn, Rose, Christine, Marylyn, Ed, Charlotte and John. The rain brought the river up to 11.3 ft. and the cfs was 170. Higher water would have meant fewer obstacles, but the limbo log would have been more of a problem. A foot higher and it would be a real problem to get under. This is not a river for novice paddlers, while fun for people with experience. It is too technical for some folks; take a look at some of the pictures.

Tom and Ed taped up a broken rudder and a found paddle saved one us from having to paddle with part of a broken paddle. These problems did not detract from what was overall a cool, yet sometimes sunny day.

There were only three types of blooming flowers out that I saw on the river. The pink or pinxter azalea (Rhododendron canescens), in the little side creek by the put-in. There was golden club (Orontium aquaticum) and also at the put-in was cross vine (Bignonia capreolata). A controlled burn at the put-in did not seem to hurt the azaleas back in the woods, but along the river I only saw one azalea in all itís glory- up high on one of the banks. There were a few azaleas with some flowers hanging on along the river, but they were few and far between. We did not try to go up Monkey Creek where we had heard at last weekís canoe club meeting that there were still many azaleas in bloom.
The wildlife was very sparse until the end of the trip. I saw a four to five foot alligator right after I ran out of film. I deleted some of my bad pictures and when back to get a picture of the gator. It saw me coming and went in the water. I turned around despondent about not getting itís picture, when, a little further down the river, I saw movement and thought it might be another gator. To my surprise it was three river otters. Dark otters on an overcast day from a good distance did not make for a good picture, but it was a great experience.

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.

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. There is a parking lot across the bridge and about a hundred yards on the right. The take out is on the left across the bridge (southwest side). The river gauge is at the take out bridge on Forest Rd 343. See the web site

Place to Eat
Since the Backwoods Bistro is out of business, we tried a new place called the Family Coastal Restaurant (same owner as the famous one in Sumatra). It was great and everyone left stuffed. This restaurant is located on the main highway south of the Chevron Station. To get there from the FR 434 (Oak Park Bridge) go back across the bridge turn right on Oak Park Road(FR 465) go for 6 miles until you run into the big city of Sopchoppy. The Rose St. is a T intersection, go left until you get to US 319 (Chevron Station on the right, turn right on 319 and go for about 1 hundred yards. Then turn left into the restaurantís parking lot. There is a lot of parking and lots of tables to be had.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Sopchoppy River FR 329 bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Start No Comm
Limbo Log No Comm
Limbo Log
Technical 1 No Comm
Technical 1

I did not put up all of the spots where you have to be on guard.

Downstream1 No Comm
Technical2 No Comm

Not all of the technical spots have pictures.

Technical3 No Comm

Not all of the technical spots have pictures.

Downstream No Comm
Downstream3 No Comm
Technical4 No Comm
Downstream4 No Comm
Technical5 No Comm
Downstream5 No Comm

Post Date: 4/24/2013

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