Sopchoppy River Report
(FR 329 (Martian Bridge))

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 4/22/2015 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: None     Map & Directions: View

With green mossy banks and many trees that offered a canopied water trail. There are old hollow cypress trees that twisted and towered in various shapes and sizes. The Sopchoppy River is relatively narrow and with many twists, so paddling skill is a must.

My Report:

On April 22, 2015, eight paddlers ventured out to paddle the beautiful, scenic Sopchoppy River. The paddlers included, June and Barry, Cathy B., Don K., Mike T., Linda N., Jim O. and John L. The Sopchoppy was at 14 ft. and the cfs was 385. 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 directly into the river. However, the little side stream that runs into the river near the usual put-in was deep enough to put-in and paddle a short distance to the river. Only one person commented on my very lazy seal launch into the river (Note: If a polar bear had been after this seal it would have been lunch time).

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. Other obstacles were minor and involved limbs or going through narrow spaces. Given these challenges it was felt necessary to make sacrifices to the river gods. Both Jim and John arose to the occasion and dropped their cameras in the water. This made for an uneventful trip if you don’t count one person falling in at the put-in and one swim on the river. Nothing bad happened after the sacrifices. We briefly stopped at a small, sandy beach to eat lunch near the end of the trip. The water was cool and refreshing and the beach was large enough to accommodate all boats and paddlers.

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.

Flora and Fauna: One deer was observed on the turnaround from the takeout to the put-in. Mike had a very large brown passenger with eight legs and Linda managed to find both red bugs and ants. Birds were the only other wildlife observed. Here is Mike’s list: Northern Parula warbler, Hooded warbler, Prothonatary warbler, Pine warbler, White-eyed vireo, Rufous sided towhee, Red bellied woodpecker, American crow, Red-shouldered hawk, Blue jay, Tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, Ruby-crowned kinglet, Red-eyed vireo and Northern cardinal. There was one sprig of sparkle berry in bloom along with a lot of tupelo. There was one small shrub with very small yellow flowers that I could not ID and there were a lot of hawthorn getting read to bloom.

The take out at Oak Park Bridge (FR 346) past the bridge on the right was very difficult as usual. Most people took out at the usual place about 80 feet from the bridge, but a few hardy souls took out closer to the bridge using a tree to ‘help’ them out.

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

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: 0

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThere several other sections of the Sopchoppy one can paddle.

Post Date: 4/27/2015

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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.