Aucilla River Report
(Upper Aucilla US 27 bridge)

View: More Aucilla River reports, East of Tallahassee Locations 

Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 6/22/2014 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 20 photos     Map & Directions: View

Thr Aucilla River from US 27 is relatively wide with only one portage due to a large oak tree. There are around 4 shoals that are easy to go through. The fishermen keep most of the trees cut back. There are a few houses and camps along the river.

My Report:

Upper Aucilla Trip 06/22/2014

Lynn, Bob, Joe and John had a great trip on the Upper Aucilla from US 27 (30.370949, -83.807132) to lower Herndons Landing (little over 6 miles 30.315398, -83.820472). I was worried about two things at the start of the trip. First, no one I knew had done the trip in a long time and therefore, we had no idea how many trees would be down in the water. Second, the weather forcast called for 60% rain after 3 PM. The answer to the first question was three trees, only one of which required a portage or climbing out of the kayak and was the first three that we encountered. It was a very large oak where we had to get out of the boats and float the boats under the log, while climbing over the tree. There were ample branches, so it was not a major problem. The water level was at 49 feet, with a cfs at 265. A little lower water would have let us go under and higher water would have ment a short portage. There was a small amount of fast water in about four places along the trip, but these places were easy to paddle through. The second tree was a four inch diameter birch that Lynn was able to slide over. Since the other kayak was a tandum sit-on-top I decided to cut the tree. The saw was able to make short work of the the tree and we continued on. We passed five or six John-boats on the river and it seems that the fishermen keep the river relatively open.

The last tree, while not that big, was in fast water and Lynn and I both had to push it up out of the way to get by. Bob and Joe, with the slender tree's help went for a refreshing swim in the river. The water was only about waist deep and the paddles and Joe's hat were quickly recovered. The tree was moved to a place a little deeper in the water and I am sure the force of the water will soon move it downstream. We stopped for a long lunch near an open field on the left, dried our selves out and talked for awhile. This is the only place I saw any flowers. The yellow stargrass (Hypoxis hirsuta) was in bloom around the lunch site. We also saw more river birch than I had seen on any other river.

Back on the river not far fron the takeout we ran into an island, we went through a small opening on the right because the left was blocked and went a long distance only to meet back up the the shorter route on the right. This was an oxbow that had been cut trough by the river. We recognized the first Herndons Landing and the second was easy, because there was some fast water and a strainer on the right, immediately before the takeout on the right.

As far as finding the Old Spanish Trail, there were some places that looked possible, but with out walking on private property it would be hard to tell. We did find two sites that were some form of transportation. One had old iron bridge pilings and the other, at the second Herndon Landing, had a rased area with some asphalt on the other side of the river. Overall, we saw five small alligators, a great blue heron, a night heron, several white herons and one deer by the side of the road as we went back to the put-in.

Check the FWC site for boatramps .

How to get there: Take US 27 East from Tallahasse to Lamont (30 miles). The put-in can be either on the Southwest (lots of posted signs, so stay close to the bridge/road in the right of way), and the sandy launch site or the Northwest which has no good defined entrance, but has a vehicle path to the river. (We drove over a steep decline to a muddy 'road' to a muddy put-in that the locals all seem to use.) At the 49 foot water level (the guage is on the US 27 bridge) there is a quick drop off.

To get to the takeout. Go back toward Lamont and make a left turn at the light on to CR 257 (0.06 miles) go past the first Lanier Rd to the second Lanier Rd (4.1 miles) on the left and turn left. This dirt road was in good repair (0.8 miles), but had some holes when we went to the right at the sign for the Middle Aucilla (0.7 miles). After a short distance you come to Herndon's Landing Road. We went right ('better parking') for about 200 feet and turned left on a short dirt road that leads to the water and a small gravel parking lot. Depending on how you park, the lot might hold five cars, with more parking along the road. The takeout is at some fast water with a willow tree sticking out from the right bank, so you need to make a fast turn to get to the takeout. The takeout is a mixture of sand and slick mud, so watch your step. The guage for this trip is at the US 27 Bridge.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Upper Aucilla US 27 bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Put-in No Comm
US 27 bridge No Comm
US 27 bridge
On the river1 No Comm
On the river1
on the river2 No Comm
on the river2
1st shoal No Comm
1st shoal
1st shoal bleow No Comm
1st shoal bleow
on the river3 No Comm
on the river3
paddle around No Comm
paddle around
Big oak portage No Comm
Big oak portage
Big oak portage No Comm
Big oak portage
Portage from below No Comm
Portage from below
paddle around2 No Comm
paddle around2
on the river4 No Comm
on the river4
Saw work No Comm
Saw work
2nd shoal No Comm
2nd shoal
3rd shoal No Comm
3rd shoal
After a swim No Comm
After a swim
on the river5 No Comm
on the river5
Lunch stop left No Comm
Lunch stop left
on the river6 No Comm
on the river6

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsOther sections of the Aucilla.

Post Date: 6/25/2014

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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.