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Chipola River Report
(Chipola at Yancy Bridge)

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Report By:  paddlesolo    Date: 3/13/2011 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 12 photos     Map & Directions: View

This was a 10 mile paddle on the first section of the Chipola River Paddling Trail from Yancy Bridge one mile north of Marianna to Magnolia Bridge. The group stopped for lunch at the newly open Greenway park, Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area.

My Report:

It was a wonderful spring day in the Panhandle, and one club had a paddling trip posted for the Chipola yesterday, but I was busy, so I sent an e-mail notice on the Florida Panhandle Canoe and Kayak Connection, and found people to paddle with. There were eight paddlers in three kayaks, one solo canoe, and two tandem canoes. Matt and his friend were paddling a canoe crafted by his father with matching hand made paddles. What a beautiful boat.

The water level was 8.3 feet due to recent rains which meant that above US 90 there was a moving current between 2.5 and 3 mph. The water was muddy brown due to the rain and when we paddled up into Sandbag Spring, it was hidden by river water. The understory hardwood trees and shrubs were leafing out in bright yellow green and pale green leaves. Dogwood had not yet come out in full bloom, and much of the red maple were waning and the Redbud was still vivid

A paddler identified a small tree (or large shrub) with white flowers as a Viburnum. I looked this up, and wondered if it were this one:"... the origin of the species name for arrowwood viburnum shrubs, Viburnum dentatum, lies in their leaves' deeply toothed margins (dent- is the Latin stem for tooth). The common name, arrowwood viburnum shrubs, derives from the Native Americans' use of their strong, straight basal shoots as arrow shafts. The website also mentioned that it attracted butterflies, and there were 4 small black butterflies flitting around and sipping nectar from this plant.

I also saw a Buckeye tree in bloom, but couldn't recall the name, later on downstream there were a couple more small trees, which can get up to 20 feet. Then our paddling naturalist identified the trees for me. Migrating hummingbirds are attracted to the red flowers which stick up from the top of the branches. I had also been instructed about the Buckeyes last week while paddling on Merritt's Millpond, so maybe this time it will stick.

We stopped for lunch at the Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area park which has an oyster shell boat ramp reserved for paddlers (no motor boats allowed) picnic tables and trash cans. It is a lovely area and I was even more proud to see the Greenway signs posted along the river because this is a project that I participated in. O.K, I only organized the volunteer opportunity and carried the bag with the signs, hammer, and aluminum nails, and a very agile lady perched on small outcroppings and hammered the signs up. Another volunteer forester posted signs along much of the border on subsequent days.

After leaving the park we paddled up to Maund Spring and a very short distance on Spring Creek. The water from these spring runs was crystal clear. We were passed by two motor boats who politely slowed down so we didn't have a very large wake to contend with. Love the local boaters who so courteously share the river with paddlers.

Trip details from my gps are: 10.1 miles paddled with a moving average of 3.0 an hour with 3 hours and 24 minutes moving time, and 58 minutes stopped. Lunch and our sight seeing at the springs accounted for the hour we stopped. Satisfaction Quotient: Unmeasurable. Thanks for Russ and Ilse from Kalamazoo, MI for joining the paddle, to Marylyn and Ed from Quincy, Matt's girlfriend Brenda, who was on her first paddle with the group and lived to tell about it, and Bob and Matt whom I have paddled with before. You were all wonderful, and I hope to see you on future paddles.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Canoe
Distance (miles): 10
Fees/Costs $: free

Photos from Chipola at Yancy Bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Yancey Bridge Put-In Restricted
Yancey Bridge Put-In
Ready to Begin Restricted
Ready to Begin
Spring Again Restricted
Spring Again
Spring Flowers Restricted
Spring Flowers
Paddling Together Restricted
Paddling Together
Waiting to Paddle Restricted
Waiting to Paddle
Greenway Sign Restricted
Greenway Sign
Trash Removal Restricted
Trash Removal

I pulled this battery operated toy behind my boat to put it in the trash. Really slowed me down.

Violets Restricted

These violets were growing at the top of the boat ramp at the Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area.

Sharing the River Restricted
Sharing the River

This boater did not speed up until he had passed all the paddlers. :)

Buckeye Restricted

This tree is a favorite of migrating hummingbirds in the early spring.

Viburnam Restricted

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsHinson Conservation and Recreation Area. This can be reached by road from SR 73 south of Marianna. Lovely spot for walks, and having a picnic, and another spot to put-in or take-out on the Chipola River.

Post Date: 3/13/2011

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