Middle Chipola River Report
(Yancey Bridge-Magnolia Bridge)

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Report By:  jlpaddle    Date: 5/30/2015 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 20 photos     Map & Directions: View

This is the upper part of the Chipola River that can be paddled without interruption to the Gulf. The put-in is a boat ramp on the Northwest side of the river on CR-166.

My Report:

Chipola River from Yancey Bridge to Magnolia Bridge the 10 mile trip was made by Kathy N., Carole B., Charlotte and John. There were a number of trees down in the muddy river, but they were easy to get around. We stopped at Henson Park for a leisurely lunch. The only skill test was a trip to the springs above Spring Creek, when we kept on going over the springs and came back out in the river. Going through the trees that would normally be on dry land was a real treat. At this water level the spring access acts like a cut through of an oxbow. The water level was 12.1 Ft and the cfs was 1,880.

The highlight of the trip was at the mouth of Spring Creek. A small water snake (1 Ĺ ft) was observed and an attempt to take a picture failed, but when I went back to talk to Charlotte I tried to joke that the snake was right next to her. Kathy came out of the mouth of Spring Creek at this time and I told her to look out for the snake. She said it was right by Charlotte and she reacted to that statement. The poor snake swam across the mouth of Spring Creek and met up with a large family of locals on several flouts.

Kathy started yelling Snake, Snake, Snake and as usual with teenage girls and phones, it was hard to get their attention. By the time the girls came to the realization that there was a snake, it was bumping itís head against the float of one of the girls. Some say the snake was striking the float, but it had itís mouth closed and I will give it the benefit of the doubt. The father yelled to slap the water and the girls did as told and the snake took off in the other direction. You had to see the activity to see the humor in the situation.

There were not many flowers in bloom along the river or if there was they were under water. I did see a wild petunias (Ruellia, one individual at the park), St. Johnís Wort (Hypericum) abundant, False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) one individual and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) abundant. The wildlife (aside from the locals) consisted of birds and turtles. There were white heron, great blue heron, small blue heron, ducks and other small birds.

From Tallahassee on I-10 it is around 70 miles to Marianna. Take exit 142 at Marianna, turn right on SR71 go 1.9 miles to US90 turn left 3.1 miles, look for sign to the Florida Caverns. Turn right on CR167 go 1.4 miles to boat ramp (Yancey Bridge) on left (3119 Caverns Rd., Marianna, Fl 32446). There are no facilities here, but I understand there is a bathroom on the other side of the bridge on the right. 30.7930, -85.2223

Turnaround-take a right on CR167 (2.9 miles) which turns into SR73 go (4.7 miles) to Magnolia Rd (CR280) make a left and Magnolia Bridge boat ramp will be on the right. The parking can be very tight on the weekends. 30.7174, -85.2005

Since we usually stop at the McDonalds just south of I-10 exit for an extra meet-up, we turn left on SR71 and go about 0.1 mile to the McDonalds. Use the facilities and retrace our steps to the put-in or we can turn left out of the McDonalds go about 300 feet and turn right on Magnolia Road (CR280). This takes you past the takeout and if you have a small group you can do a reverse shuttle. You turn right at the next crossroad SR73 (4.7 miles) it turns into CR167 (2.9 miles) to the put-in on the left. This is about three miles longer, but you miss most of the traffic.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 10
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Yancey Bridge-Magnolia Bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Put-in off CR-166 No Comm
Put-in off CR-166
On the river1 No Comm
On the river1
On the river2 No Comm
On the river2
Tree down No Comm
Tree down

There were several trees down, but none was a major obstetrical.

On the river3 No Comm
On the river3
High water No Comm
High water
On the river4 No Comm
On the river4
Trees down No Comm
Trees down
On the river5 No Comm
On the river5
"Caves" No Comm
Hinson Park No Comm
Hinson Park

The park has no facilities, but it does have a table to have lunchon.

On the river6 No Comm
On the river6
False Indigo flower No Comm
False Indigo flower
On the river7 No Comm
On the river7
Spring Creek No Comm
Spring Creek

Mouth of Spring Creek

On the river8 No Comm
On the river8
On the river9 No Comm
On the river9
I-10 Bridge No Comm
I-10 Bridge
On the river10 No Comm
On the river10
Takeout No Comm

This is the takeout boat ramp on Magnolia Rd (CR280) Jackson Co.

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsThere are several other Chipola River and creek paddling trips one can do, the Florida Caverns State Park is just north of the put-in.

Post Date: 6/3/2015

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Florida Sea Kayaking Association 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.