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Econfina Creek Report
(Run from HW 22 to HW 388)

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Report By:  tioti    Date: 4/22/2017 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: None     Map & Directions: View

A 4 hour run down stream

My Report:

This creek is broken up in 4 sections. The north section is a overnight run. Expert top level only. There is no way to get off the creek once you put in from Scott rd til you get to Longleaf Camp, a day and a half getting there. There are only 2 runs in Fl. that I will not do solo and this is one of them. The upper mid section is from the Waishingham Bus Bridge to HW 20. The lower middle section is from HW 20 to HW 388. This section I will cover in this report. The lower section is from HW 388 to Deer Point Lake.
I have passed over this creek hundreds of times on HW 20 and many times from HW 388. I have seen this creek over its banks with muddy water and even over the bridge once. But for this trip the coditions for this run from HW 20 to HW 388 could not have been better. This creek as well as other creeks and rivers in this area such as Holmes Creek are prone to major, very dangerous flood levels of muddy water after heavy rainfall in north Washington, Bay and Holmes's counties. These flood levels can last for many weeks or months so check river levels before you plan your trip. There has been bassicly no rain in the area for a good while. It was the perfect conditions to do this 8 and 1/2 mile run. As other reports have reported there are many spring heads on the Econfina, all you have to do is listen for the crowds to find them. This is a very popular creek and has free parking at all of its lauches so this makes for a good local cooling off and picnic place. Trip day the creek was as clear as it gets. Nice sandy bottom. I will skip the other details as they have been already covered very well by other reporters. I thought it may be helpful for me to give my imput on this creek. This report is a little more opinionated than I normally report but some may find it helpful. If you are an advanced kayaker you may enjoy a nice 3 to 4 hour float style trip in low water level conditions and a few sandbars to beach your kayak for a lunch. The creek does lack the verity of different scenic areas that some of the other's have so to some this could be a drawback. You will see some tall Limestone walls full of ferns but not much as far as wildlife. For those of you that have some level of experience of creeks and rivers controlled by the water flow but have not done runs such as Juniper, The Little Big Econ or Rock Spring runs this would be a great creek to learn more about reading the water. I think you will find it fun. If you are a katak beginner I would suggest you go with someone that has done this run or has moderate experience on moving water. This creek will put you in a tailspin and have you running into trees on the shoreline very quick if you dont know how to run moving water. There are many obstacles such as trees just under the suffice. For most advanced kayakers this is fun, turning on a dime, cutting across current and cutting between two logs with only inches to spare knowing how to controll your kayak. As a beginner if you hit them wrong you could get into trouble with breaching. The current is enough to pin you on a log so just because the water is pretty clear and shallow enough, the fear of real danger may not seem real, it can be and I would suggest being on a SIT ON kayak and wear a life vest. I saw a lot of people running out of control into banks, over and over again. Not the kind of hitting that could cause injury but they were not having fun. This is a short and fun run. It also can be very therapeutic to get into the currents rhythm, to feel the flow of the water and relax. Dont fight it or over paddle. Just stay a tad bit faster than the water is moving to stay in forward control. Don't cut the turns shallow or you will be paddling out of control trying to get your stern from overtaking your bow.  I will give the run a 3 for advanced kayakers.
A 4 for someone looking to learn water flow.
And a 3 for beginners.
So overall I will give it a 3

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 8
Fees/Costs $: Free

Post Date: 5/8/2017

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