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Econfina Creek Report
(Livery to 388)

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Report By:  gpax    Date: 8/7/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 31 photos     Map & Directions: View

Econfina Creek is a narrow river/creek flowing past limestone cliffs and has abundant freshwater springs to visit. Trail is 7 miles from Livery to Hwy 388.

My Report:

Although schduled a week earlier we had 60 percent chance of thunderstorms which, combined with a raging morning storm in Pensacola, put my rider in a panic. I "chickened out". However, Frances and Lori braved the elements. Lori wrote a piece on their trip: . Lori was a newspaper writer for eleven years and is a pro.

I rescheduled to go the following Thursday but had thunderstorms again. So I went out on our club hotline looking for company on Friday. Bruce, a friend from WFCKC, met me at the livery on Friday.

We put in at the Econfina Livery for $5 each. When we returned after the trip we could shower and use their changing rooms so that made us feel better. Plus we parked one car on their lot so we felt safer about it. They also gave us good info. The nice fellow on the desk said they were usually booked full on the weekends.

After positioning our cars we were off. The put-in was in a spring run. I looked down to see two large tadpoles. Not as large as others I had seen pictures of but large to me.

The guy at the desk said look for the change in color of water and paddle up the clear blue water to the spring.

Our first spring was Williford and we got used to chilly at first water to snorkel and take pictures. Kids and other people were swimming at every spring but not as many as they say swim during the weekends.

I defer to all the other reports on descriptions of the springs and their names. There are so many. Pitt Spring is adjacent to the creek and low. Swimmers were ignoring the sign that proclaimed the spring closed for swimming. The park there was very nice.

The canoe launch at SR20 looked like a US Navy fleet landing liberty boat launch rather than one for canoes and kayaks. I am not sure how I would get in my sit inside kayak from that structure. The height and size of cleats looked more suited to a pontoon boat but at least they were trying.

Gainer Springs, just south of SR20, was quite a group of springs. One spring was like an endless pool with a current where you could swim in place. Kids were climbing the bank and jumping in. They were having quite a time there.

The springs end and then the creek is just an ordinary beautiful creek with limestone cypress banks and rope swings every so often. I did notice more houses along the creek and more no trespassing signs than we are used to over to the west.

As the clouds built up and we could hear distant thunder we paddled harder to get to 388. We had lingered at the springs so long that we had to get going due to a 5PM deadline at the livery. A few drops hit as we got to the 388 bridge so we ducked under the bridge for a couple of minutes. Then we loaded both boats on my car and were off.

The springs make this a MUST trip. You could save some money and launch at the SR20 canoe launch because all the springs are close but your paddle would be short. My guess is this trip is better done during a weekday in the summer.

PS. I did trade in my 18 year old Chevy S-10 Pickup on a 2010 Subaru Outback. My S-10 was the model with manual transmission and got EPA estimated 19 mpg. If I had bought the 18 mpg automatic, it would have qualified for the cash for clunkers program. Missed by 1 mpg.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 7.2
Fees/Costs $: 5

Photos from Livery to 388:    (Click image to view full size)

Econfina LIvery No Comm
Econfina LIvery

Econfina Livery had restrooms, changing rooms and a shower. We parked one car here and another at 388.

Put in at the livery No Comm
Put in at the livery

Econfina Livery had restrooms, changing rooms and a shower. We parked one car here and another at 388.

Tadpole No Comm

I had heard about the tadpoles. Some were at the put-in although others are larger.

Spring run No Comm
Spring run

Look for the clear water flowing into the brown creek and you will know it is a spring run. We started on a spring run at the livery.

Springs Everywhere No Comm
Springs Everywhere

The upper section of our paddle has springs everywhere according to the WMD map.

Palm trees No Comm
Palm trees

On thing that stood out to me were the number of palm trees. We don't have that many in the west.

Williford Spring No Comm
Williford Spring

We put on snorkeling gear and dove to the vent at Williford. A family was swimming there when we arrived.

gpax No Comm

Bruce took a pic of me coming up from the vent.

Spring No Comm

The ferns really dressed up the boil from this spring.

Looking back No Comm
Looking back

I believe this is Sylvan looking back toward Econfina.

Spring run No Comm
Spring run

Notice the mix of colors.

Pitt Springs No Comm
Pitt Springs

Notice the sign that says no swimming because of low water.

SR 20 Canoe Lauch No Comm
SR 20 Canoe Lauch

I am wondering how I would launch my kayak from this set up. No country for old men.

SR 20 Bridge No Comm
SR 20 Bridge
Spring run No Comm
Spring run

Spring runs are easy to spot because of the color change of the creek water.

Snorkelers No Comm

Pair of snorkelers swim up to Gainer Spring.

Gainer Springs No Comm
Gainer Springs
Swimmers No Comm

At Gainer Springs

Pretty spring vent No Comm
Pretty spring vent

At Gainer Springs

limestone banks No Comm
limestone banks

Bruce poses by the swiss cheese limestone creek banks aroung the corner from another spring.

Endless Pool No Comm
Endless Pool

Like swimming in an endless pool. The current gushes out of the limestone.

Sand boil No Comm
Sand boil

This vent is creating a cloud of sand in its boil.

Bruce over spring No Comm
Bruce over spring

Almost suspended in air in crystal clear water.

Another spring No Comm
Another spring

Springs everywhere

Rest of the creek No Comm
Rest of the creek

Springs were in the upper part of the paddle. After Gainer Springs we just had a pretty creek to paddle.

Rope swing No Comm
Rope swing

Lots of rope swings ... even off the back porch. Can you imagine growing up with a rope swing off the back porch.

Fern covered banks No Comm
Fern covered banks

Limestone banks covered with ferns.

Lower part of paddle No Comm
Lower part of paddle

Typical creek scene

Bruce No Comm

Typical creek scene

Hwy 388 bridge No Comm
Hwy 388 bridge

We reached the bridge as a few rain drops fell. The bridge provide a roof until the rain stopped.

My new ride No Comm
My new ride

Not only did I get a new boat but we bought a 2010 Subaru Outback to haul the boats. My 18 year old truck did not qual as a clunker ... 19 mpg. 1 mpg too many

Post Date: 8/9/2009

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