Green Wave Forum

Chipola River Report
(Yancey to Magnolia Bridge)

View: More Chipola River reports, Northwest FL Locations 

Report By:  gpax    Date: 11/14/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 20 photos     Map & Directions: View

4.25 hour paddle on small river. Few pullover spots. Two nice spring runs and Spring Creek in flow. A few houses and camps. Limestone walls along the way. Pretty large trees with Spanish Moss line the river.

My Report:

Paddlesolo put in countless hours setting up a marvelous weekend paddling experience for a large group in Jackson County [Marianna].

Myself coming solo from Pensacola, I planned to camp in Florida Caverns State Park as did several others. I stopped briefly at Yancey Bridge to say I was here and headed to the campground to check in. Finding that I needed an electrical adapter, I swung by a camper store before heading back to Yancey for the shuttle.

Hurrying to get my kayak off my truck I accidentally broke the cable lock key off in the lock and had my kayak hopeless locked to my truck. Thinking quickly Isaac saved the day by leading me to the fire chief who had the tools to cut the cable.

This was my first time paddling the Chipola River. The current moved us along at a pleasant rate. Clouds moved along bringing moisture off the Gulf. Scatter showers were predicted and it rained just long enough to put on rain coats and then the rain stopped. Trees along the Chipola were putting on their fall colors. And we had a pleasant day.

I paddled over my first spring ever not too far from the put in. We passed a support post for a house and paddled up a short run to a small but beautiful clear spring named Sandbag Spring. The water was very pretty but hard to photograph because of the reflection of the sky. Later we would paddle up a spring run on the left bank to Maund Spring. Coming back onto the river we paddled through a low fog bank. We wondered if a cool spring under the river caused the fog to form.

Paddling up Spring Creek a short distance made me want to paddle more. The water was crystal clear with a nice flow. They say I was about 6 miles from the put in on Spring Creek.

Somewhere along the way we stopped for lunch. There were few get out spots. We had a tricky boat exit along limestone banks with quick drop offs. The area we ate in was nice.

Continuing down the River, the limestone began to rise on the right bank. Some interesting formations gave way to a cave entrance. One member of our group stopped to do some cave exploration but could not find his flashlight. So he abandoned his endeavor and returned to paddling.

The river seemed to clear as we continue on revealing some colorful aquatic plant life as well as a limestone bottom. We did spot one large turtle sunning itself along the bank.

A few fish camps and houses were along the banks. One house took advantage of the bridge pilings from an old brick bridge to extend their porch riverside. Some camps sported the stars and bars and all that.

We passed under the Interstate 10 Bridge not far from the end of our paddle. A last couple of turns and we passed the Bear Paw ramp, under the Magnolia bridge to the take out immediately on the right bank next to the bridge.

What would have been an ordinary paddle was made extraordinary by the springs, the fog bank, the limestone cliffs and the colorful fall colors.

Later in the evening we had a tornado watch at the campground as a wicked electrical storm passed. Power was knocked out for hours. The temperature dropped significantly before morning.

I would rate this paddle a 3.5 to a 4 and would put it on my definitely do again list. I commend Paddlesolo for starting out our weekend with this trip.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 9.6
Fees/Costs $: 0

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

Aquatic Plants No Comm
Aquatic Plants

At tiimes the Chipola was green with aquatic plant lfe.

Lunch Stop No Comm
Lunch Stop

Very few pull out spots for a lunch group. The one we used was along a limestone bank. The spot was nice.

Chipola Fall Scene No Comm
Chipola Fall Scene

Fall colors were beautiful. The river was full of fallen leaves.

Hornets Nest No Comm
Hornets Nest

Several hornets nests were spotted in the trees.

Chewing on Trees No Comm
Chewing on Trees

Something had been chewing on trees along the river.

Limestone formation No Comm
Limestone formation

Interesting limestone formations lined the right bank on our way down the river.

Cave along the river No Comm
Cave along the river

Doug stops to investigate a cave entrance along the river but can't find his flashlight.

Beautiful spring No Comm
Beautiful spring

Went up two spring runs to nice springs. They run clear and deep to the vents.

Fog bank No Comm
Fog bank

Suddenly a fog bank appeared. We are not sure what caused it.

Fish camp No Comm
Fish camp

A few camps and houses were along the river.

Colorful tree No Comm
Colorful tree

Some trees were in peak color.

Spring Creek No Comm
Spring Creek

Spring Creek flows into the Chipola crystal clear. Another day we will explore Spring Creek.

Chipola Fall Scene No Comm
Chipola Fall Scene

In places the current on the Chipola picks up speed.

Fall Colors No Comm
Fall Colors

Cypress trees and spanish moss were in full fall color.

Limestone formation No Comm
Limestone formation

More interesting limestone formations.

Fall Colors No Comm
Fall Colors

Paddling the Chipola with fall colors in the trees.

Turtle No Comm

Turtle sunning itself along the Chipola River

gpax looking for pic No Comm
gpax looking for pic

Caught the photographer looking for a good subject for a picture.

Thank You!!! No Comm
Thank You!!!

Paddlesolo, thank you for all the hard work in putting together this wonderful weekend. It was GREAT. Here we are going into the fog bank,

Magnolia Bridge No Comm
Magnolia Bridge

All good things must come to an end. Here we are at the take out at the Magnolia Road Bridge.

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsFlorida Caverns State Park was a nice attraction. Plenty of restuarants are in Marianna. We ate at The Oaks in Oak Station shopping center East of town off US90. Good food and service.

Post Date: 11/22/2008

Go to gpax's Trip JournalMore Trips and Comments on Chipola River
More Northwest FL LocationsView Regions

Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Green Wave Forum 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.