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Econfina Creek Report
(Econfina Creek from Livery)

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Report By:  paddlesolo    Date: 3/15/2013 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 3 photos     Map & Directions: View

I organized this paddle for out of state paddlers I had met in 2009. They have come back to the panhandle to paddle several times since then. The flowers were in bloom, the weather was perfect, not many other people on the river.

My Report:

In 2009 a teacher from Texas contacted me after reading trip reports on the Greenwave, and said she would like to come paddle in the Florida Panhandle. I agreed to sponsor a paddle for her. When she arrived the rivers were flooded and I called a livery - Adventures Unlimited near Milton - to check on water levels. They suggested Turkey Creek which doesn't flood due to the seep-fed nature of the stream. Then they asked if I would be willing to take some of their guests with me, and I agreed. The paddlers from Michigan and the Texas teacher became paddling friends, and returned to the area to paddle during spring break this year (2013) I agreed to take them on the Econfina.

I posted the trip to the Florida Panhandle Canoe and Kayak Connection through an e-mail and 10 people joined the paddle. We met at the Econfina Livery, paid $5.00 to use their launching area, and did our own shuttle. Putting in at the livery allowed us to visit Williford Springs without having to paddle upstream.

Wild Azaleas were at their peak, lining the creek banks. We also saw dogwood and toward the end of the paddle Mountain Laurel. I didn't recognize it at first, because it was a deeper pink than I recalled, but friends that know flowers mentioned that it was just starting to bloom. Eventually we found a bush that was fully in bloom and it had the very pale pink blossoms I remembered.

The water was higher than on previous paddles, so the sandy area at Gainer Spring Group was underwater. I had on my Chota knee high boots, and ate my lunch standing in shallow water. Others stayed in their boats, and one couple went downstream and found a place where they could get out with a couple seats and a small table. Econfina Creek does not have sandbars, and if one needs a place to rest, it is basically in the woods. During warmer months most of the rest breaks involve swimming.

With the good current, it was easy to average 2.5 and 3 mph without much paddling. The river is open with no pull-overs, and only moderate downfall to avoid. There are a few houses and cabins, but much of the area is natural surroundings. With the beautiful springs and clear water, Econfina Creek is one of my favorite paddling streams.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Canoe
Distance (miles): 8+
Fees/Costs $: $5.00 livery fee

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

Mountain Laurel No Comm
Mountain Laurel

Was elated to see some Mountain Laurel in bloom toward the end of the paddle.

Williford Springs No Comm
Williford Springs

Enjoying Williford Springs

Fish in Pitt Spring No Comm
Fish in Pitt Spring

The water is so clear in Pitt Spring that I took the photo of these fish above the water.


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsPitt Spring Recreational Area is on the banks of the Econfina Creek. It has a swimming area, docks, a composting bathroom and picnic pavilions as well as a walking trail.

Post Date: 3/16/2013

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