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Pinhook River

Post By:nate on 3/20/2010 2:58pmicon
Replies:20, Views: 2511

I paddled to the Pinhook Yesterday and renewed my opinion that it is the most natural, wildest, and least paddled river in the Big Bend area.
Anyone else have an opinion of the Pinhook? Has anyone else paddled up it?

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 Reply #1   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: admin on 3/20/2010 5:01pm

Nate - where is Pinhook River? What city/town?

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 Reply #2   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 3/20/2010 6:58pm

On 3/20/2010 admin said...
Nate - where is Pinhook River? What city/town?



It's about five miles west of the Aucilla river. It originates on the bay side of of U.S. HWY 98 and runs through the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge to Apalachee Bay. It comes out of the ground in a series of small springs plus gets a lot of rain runoff in wet weather. The Florida Scenic Hiking Trail crosses it on an old tram bridge 7 miles from Lighthouse Road and five miles from U.S. 98. The old wooden tram bridge is part of the old Aucilla Tram Road and is maintained by the SMNWR for use by Refuge vehiecles.
It's lack of accessibility is what keeps it wild and natural, and full of gators.
To get there you either have to walk 5 miles one way, or seven miles the other, or paddle down the Aucilla river to the bay, west on the bay for five miles and if you're lucky you'll find the mouth of Pinhook river. There is a way to paddle through the swamps on the landward side of some marsh islands to it, but it's a maze of tidewater creeks.
I've found it twice out of four attempts over the years, but it was worth the effort.

It may show up on good GPS maps, but I use a cheapie, mainly to get me back to my truck when I get lost.

I launch at Mandalay Landing, about three miles toward the bay from U.S.98. Costs $5.00 to launch, (honor system)

Nate

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 Reply #3   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: admin on 3/22/2010 7:08am

Nate - thanks for the details on Pinhook. Sounds like an interesting, very remote location. Do you have GPS coordinates at where the river meets the bay so others can find the entrance?

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 Reply #4   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 3/23/2010 10:54am

No, but next time I go there I may. The gators looked hungry and may need feeding.

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 Reply #5   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 3/23/2010 11:09am

It shows up in the, "Florida Atlas and Gazateer".

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 Reply #6   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: admin on 3/23/2010 11:24am

Nate, do I have to keep telling you DO NOT FEED THE GATORS. Especially feeding them your body parts!

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 Reply #7   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 3/24/2010 9:43am

NO! NO! NO!.... Not my body parts, my paddlin pards!

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 Reply #8   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 4/18/2012 8:56pm

On 3/20/2010 nate said...

On 3/20/2010 admin said...
Nate - where is Pinhook River? What city/town?



It's about five miles west of the Aucilla river. It originates on the bay side of of U.S. HWY 98 and runs through the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge to Apalachee Bay. It comes out of the ground in a series of small springs plus gets a lot of rain runoff in wet weather. The Florida Scenic Hiking Trail crosses it on an old tram bridge 7 miles from Lighthouse Road and five miles from U.S. 98. The old wooden tram bridge is part of the old Aucilla Tram Road and is maintained by the SMNWR for use by Refuge vehiecles.
It's lack of accessibility is what keeps it wild and natural, and full of gators.
To get there you either have to walk 5 miles one way, or seven miles the other, or paddle down the Aucilla river to the bay, west on the bay for five miles and if you're lucky you'll find the mouth of Pinhook river. There is a way to paddle through the swamps on the landward side of some marsh islands to it, but it's a maze of tidewater creeks.
I've found it twice out of four attempts over the years, but it was worth the effort.

It may show up on good GPS maps, but I use a cheapie, mainly to get me back to my truck when I get lost.

I launch at Mandalay Landing, about three miles toward the bay from U.S.98. Costs $5.00 to launch, (honor system)

Nate



Hi, I hope it's ok to respond to this old post. I was googling the Pinhook and THIS IS ALL I GOT OTHER THAN MAP COORDINATES! I'm a big time ETHICAL fisherman and I enjoy the outdoors in general. I enjoy the untapped backwater, like the upper Aucilla and Saint Marks and the lost sinkholes. I've been EVERYWHERE in this region...but the Pinhook!

Your directions are a tad unclear to me though. What do you mean by Refuge vehicles? Could you take a 4 wheeler to this bridge if not a truck? How treacherous is the walk?

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 Reply #9   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 4/20/2012 4:48am

On 4/18/2012 bloodychamp said...

On 3/20/2010 nate said...

On 3/20/2010 admin said...
Nate - where is Pinhook River? What city/town?



It's about five miles west of the Aucilla river. It originates on the bay side of of U.S. HWY 98 and runs through the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge to Apalachee Bay. It comes out of the ground in a series of small springs plus gets a lot of rain runoff in wet weather. The Florida Scenic Hiking Trail crosses it on an old tram bridge 7 miles from Lighthouse Road and five miles from U.S. 98. The old wooden tram bridge is part of the old Aucilla Tram Road and is maintained by the SMNWR for use by Refuge vehiecles.
It's lack of accessibility is what keeps it wild and natural, and full of gators.
To get there you either have to walk 5 miles one way, or seven miles the other, or paddle down the Aucilla river to the bay, west on the bay for five miles and if you're lucky you'll find the mouth of Pinhook river. There is a way to paddle through the swamps on the landward side of some marsh islands to it, but it's a maze of tidewater creeks.
I've found it twice out of four attempts over the years, but it was worth the effort.

It may show up on good GPS maps, but I use a cheapie, mainly to get me back to my truck when I get lost.

I launch at Mandalay Landing, about three miles toward the bay from U.S.98. Costs $5.00 to launch, (honor system)

Nate



Hi, I hope it's ok to respond to this old post. I was googling the Pinhook and THIS IS ALL I GOT OTHER THAN MAP COORDINATES! I'm a big time ETHICAL fisherman and I enjoy the outdoors in general. I enjoy the untapped backwater, like the upper Aucilla and Saint Marks and the lost sinkholes. I've been EVERYWHERE in this region...but the Pinhook!

Your directions are a tad unclear to me though. What do you mean by Refuge vehicles? Could you take a 4 wheeler to this bridge if not a truck? How treacherous is the walk?



By refuge vehicles I mean refuge personnel in refuge vehicles doing their official duty, but I've heard of exceptions being made for 'privileged' people with the right connections. I hate this kind of favortism.
The walk to the bridge is really not a bad one from either end. From Lighthouse RD. (C-59) you can ride a trailbike, but nothing motorized is allowed. You can pick up a map of the SMNWR at the visitor center with all the trails marked. It will also have Pinhook river on it. If you paddle there take a camera. The last mile or so is how I imagine the Jurastic Period minus the Dinosaurs.
I made another trip there Friday, the 13th of April, 2012. I paddled 8 1/4 miles getting there and 6 miles getting back. That's the Pinhook River. Oh, and now they have posts blocking the bridge to all vehicles. I guess it's deemed unsafe for SMNWR vehicles now.
To get there from HWY 98 you start at the Florida Scenic Hiking Trail about a half mile west of the Aucilla River and follow the trail to the bridge over the Pinhook. It's a little rougher walk but 2 miles shorter, and I wouldn't recommend doing it from this end on a bike.

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 Reply #10   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 4/20/2012 7:59pm

On 4/20/2012 nate said...

On 4/18/2012 bloodychamp said...

On 3/20/2010 nate said...

On 3/20/2010 admin said...
Nate - where is Pinhook River? What city/town?



It's about five miles west of the Aucilla river. It originates on the bay side of of U.S. HWY 98 and runs through the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge to Apalachee Bay. It comes out of the ground in a series of small springs plus gets a lot of rain runoff in wet weather. The Florida Scenic Hiking Trail crosses it on an old tram bridge 7 miles from Lighthouse Road and five miles from U.S. 98. The old wooden tram bridge is part of the old Aucilla Tram Road and is maintained by the SMNWR for use by Refuge vehiecles.
It's lack of accessibility is what keeps it wild and natural, and full of gators.
To get there you either have to walk 5 miles one way, or seven miles the other, or paddle down the Aucilla river to the bay, west on the bay for five miles and if you're lucky you'll find the mouth of Pinhook river. There is a way to paddle through the swamps on the landward side of some marsh islands to it, but it's a maze of tidewater creeks.
I've found it twice out of four attempts over the years, but it was worth the effort.

It may show up on good GPS maps, but I use a cheapie, mainly to get me back to my truck when I get lost.

I launch at Mandalay Landing, about three miles toward the bay from U.S.98. Costs $5.00 to launch, (honor system)

Nate



Hi, I hope it's ok to respond to this old post. I was googling the Pinhook and THIS IS ALL I GOT OTHER THAN MAP COORDINATES! I'm a big time ETHICAL fisherman and I enjoy the outdoors in general. I enjoy the untapped backwater, like the upper Aucilla and Saint Marks and the lost sinkholes. I've been EVERYWHERE in this region...but the Pinhook!

Your directions are a tad unclear to me though. What do you mean by Refuge vehicles? Could you take a 4 wheeler to this bridge if not a truck? How treacherous is the walk?



By refuge vehicles I mean refuge personnel in refuge vehicles doing their official duty, but I've heard of exceptions being made for 'privileged' people with the right connections. I hate this kind of favortism.
The walk to the bridge is really not a bad one from either end. From Lighthouse RD. (C-59) you can ride a trailbike, but nothing motorized is allowed. You can pick up a map of the SMNWR at the visitor center with all the trails marked. It will also have Pinhook river on it. If you paddle there take a camera. The last mile or so is how I imagine the Jurastic Period minus the Dinosaurs.
I made another trip there Friday, the 13th of April, 2012. I paddled 8 1/4 miles getting there and 6 miles getting back. That's the Pinhook River. Oh, and now they have posts blocking the bridge to all vehicles. I guess it's deemed unsafe for SMNWR vehicles now.
To get there from HWY 98 you start at the Florida Scenic Hiking Trail about a half mile west of the Aucilla River and follow the trail to the bridge over the Pinhook. It's a little rougher walk but 2 miles shorter, and I wouldn't recommend doing it from this end on a bike.



Haw man I gotta tackle it asap!

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 Reply #11   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 4/21/2012 4:58am

Bloodychamp,

Let us know how your trip goes.

Nate

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 Reply #12   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 5/2/2012 7:52am

http://www.floridapaddlingtrails.com/tripreport.asp?trip=660

This is as good a video as I've found of the Pinhook.

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 Reply #13   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 5/19/2012 8:01pm

C-59...the road between Wacissa and US 98? If that's a dumb question, realize that all 3 counties (Taylor, Jefferson and Wakulla) constantly intervene with each other every 3 or 4 feet down that way lol!

I only have a part time job and can't afford to go joyriding. I do get out, but under the circumstances I have to go somewhere that I know well enough to catch some dang fish to bring home and eat. I went fishing at the Aucilla at 98 recently and put Pinhook River into my Google Maps App just to see the results and it came up but it was confusing and probably would have involved some time and gas.

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 Reply #14   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 5/20/2012 3:27pm

Go East on 98 from Newport, (ignore C-59 to Wacissa) cross the Aucilla River, turn right on Mandalay road, follow boat ramp signs to Mandalay Landing.

Just East from the Wakulla Rivr Bridge at Newprt, C-59, (a continuation of the one that goes to Wacissa) goes to the right. Follow it until you come to the Visitors C,enter. Go up the ramp on your left to the Museum/visitor Center and on the counter there's a pad of Refuge maps, they're free, take a couple, Pinhook River is on that map. I double bagged mine in 2 gallon zip-lock zipper baggs and carry it in my boat with me.

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 Reply #15   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 5/20/2012 5:10pm

On 5/20/2012 nate said...
Go East on 98 from Newport, (ignore C-59 to Wacissa) cross the Aucilla River, turn right on Mandalay road, follow boat ramp signs to Mandalay Landing.

Just East from the Wakulla Rivr Bridge at Newprt, C-59, (a continuation of the one that goes to Wacissa) goes to the right. Follow it until you come to the Visitors C,enter. Go up the ramp on your left to the Museum/visitor Center and on the counter there's a pad of Refuge maps, they're free, take a couple, Pinhook River is on that map. I double bagged mine in 2 gallon zip-lock zipper baggs and carry it in my boat with me.



Oooooooo all the way down there. Because it emptied into the Aucilla, I assumed it wasn't that far in that direction. I hope I get a chance to check it out soon.

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 Reply #16   
RE: Pinhook Rivericon
Post By: nate on 5/21/2012 11:56am

No no, it doesn't empty into the Aucilla, it empyies into Apalachee Bay, Aucilla River is the closest access by boat.

Unless you're the real hardcore wilderness type, don't go there expecting easy fishing. Most of the fresh water fishing part is not easily accessable. I'd recommend checking it out first.

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 Reply #17   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 5/21/2012 12:38pm

Locals count that area as the Aucilla. And I'm totally hardcore!

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 Reply #18   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 5/21/2012 1:35pm

I'm so bored people...I actually dug around and found the map that you memtioned. I grabbed it at another little stand in the Management Area. I figure I'll take the camera and a fishing rod with a lure just to hit the easiest places. If it looks like I could do some serious fishing on another day without getting in danger, I'll bring a couple of poles and some live bait. If it looks to dangerous, I guess the next thing to figure out is how to launch at Mandalay and find it.

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 Reply #19   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 1/17/2014 11:36am

I finally got a little piece of the Pinhook last April or so and can't wait to go on a more organized trip. If you recall, all of the backwater was flooded for 99% of the last spring and summer. I took my 4x4 down to the Pinhook thanks to what appeared to be some homemade trails and found a few backed up tributaries to fish even though I never made it to the main river thanks to the floodwater. I thought this was a pretty good day for having never fished the river before though, in addition to the fact that I can still catch fish in floodwaters Wink

[URL=http://s643.photobucket.com/user/BloodyChamp/media/Pinhook.jpg.html]
Forum Image
[/URL]

Not sure why the image cut in half...and I still have the sucker fish in my water trough...he keeps it clean lol!

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 Reply #20   
RE: Pinhook River
image
Post By: bloodychamp on 7/3/2018 8:43pm

Today I made it over 2 (maybe 3 but I think 2) of the oldest tram bridges past the St Marks NWR sign that warned of treacherous conditions for the next 1.8 miles taking the trail from 98. I made it over a couple more wooden crossings but I don't think those were actual tram crossings, rather just something people have put there since for hiking. Then I had to turn around at an old tram crossing that was either flooded or washed away (couldn't tell through the solid black water). How much farther did I have to go to get to the Pinhook Bridge? I had to be getting close lol!

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