Econfina Creek (Upper) Report
(SR-20 Park Bay County)

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 9/27/2014 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 20 photos     Map & Directions: View

Econfina Creek is a beautiful spring feed stream with many springs along its' banks. There are also high banks with ferns covering some of the banks. We saw unusually large tadpoles at the Gainer Springs which were very interesting.

My Report:

Gary Sisco lead a FTA trip on Econfina Creek (6 miles) with seven other folks, one coming from as far away as Inverness. We put-in at the SR-20 Park without incident, most people donít like the put-in due to the distance of the drop off the dock into the kayak or canoe. The ever changing weather forecast was a concern, but it turned out to be a great day, with cloud cover in the afternoon keeping the temperature down. Several canoes of younger folks and kids went by while the turnaround was in process, but we only ran into them once on the river. We ran into two guys fishing, who ignored us, and those were the only humans we saw during the trip.

The springs were beautiful as always ( and the huge tadpoles (I think they are River Swamp Frog - Lithobates heckscheri, but I am no expert) were making quite a scene. They were coming to the surface and making it look like large raindrops as they got a gulp of air. The bottom was covered with them in some places, with a tadpole about every three inches. The tadpoles themselves were 2 and a half to three inches long. I saw one large moss covered turtle, one small brim and two large bass. As we left the springs area I noticed that at the mouth of a small stream that runs into the Econfina there were even more tadpoles coming to the surface.

The animal life was minimal, unless you include the canoe kids jumping out of a tree in the middle of the river. There were a few song birds, kingfisher and one small snake (less than 2 feet) on a log stuck in a tree over the water near the end of the trip. There were lots of wildflowers on the way to the put-in, but not many on the river itself. I saw three sprigs of cardinal flower in three different places along the river, goldenrod in two different places and that was about it.

On the river there were a lot of new trees down, but there was only one spot where you had to do some technical paddling to get through. There seemed to be a lot of No Trespassing signs up along the river. The gauge on the SR-20 bridge recorded the cfs as 510 and the depth as 6.36 feet. The water was fairly clear away from the springs and very clear at the springs.

To get to the Econfina Creek from Tallahassee from West Pensacola St and Capital Circle SW it is a tad over 75 miles West on SR-20/ Pensacola St. The put-in is just of SR-20 on the East side of the SR-20 bridge. MapQuest says it is roughly 6325 State Road 20 W, Youngstown, FL 32466 at 30.431981, -85.545111.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from SR-20 Park Bay County:    (Click image to view full size)

SR-20 Park put-in No Comm
SR-20 Park put-in
On the river1 No Comm
On the river1
River bank No Comm
River bank

photo by Kathy Newman

Our leader No Comm
Our leader

photo by Kathy Newman

Most of our group No Comm
Most of our group

photo by Kathy Newman

Gainer Springs No Comm
Gainer Springs

photo by Kathy Newman
Details at

Gainer Springs2 No Comm
Gainer Springs2

photo by Kathy Newman<br /> Details at

Huge tadpoles No Comm
Huge tadpoles

All the black dots are tadpoles. May be River Frog tadpoles.

Other springs No Comm
Other springs
On the river2 No Comm
On the river2
On the river4 No Comm
On the river4
On the river5 No Comm
On the river5
On the river6 No Comm
On the river6
On the river10 No Comm
On the river10
On the river12 No Comm
On the river12
On the river13 No Comm
On the river13
Ferns2 No Comm
Ferns5 No Comm
On the river14 No Comm
On the river14
Techinical paddling No Comm
Techinical paddling

Trees down

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThe springs make this a great trip.

Post Date: 9/29/2014

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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.