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Alaqua Creek

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Eglin Reservation at RR-205 Big Alaqua Creek Bridge put-in. Difficult put-in with deep water and steep banks. Cooperation is essential. Take-out at Portland Park boat ramp about one mile past SR 20 bridge.

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Reports Alaqua CreekLogin to Post   
 Date: 5/25/2013
Rating: Trip Rating
 Miles: 3-4Photos: 8 
A dark-water, tidally influenced creek that begins on the Eglin Reservation and flows into Alaqua Bayou on Choctawhatchee Bay.

   Read pnerissa's report

 Date: 7/21/2009
Rating: Trip Rating
 Miles: 6.7Photos: 21 
(RR- 205 to Portland Park) Eglin Reservation at RR-205 Big Alaqua Creek Bridge put-in. Difficult put-in with deep water and steep banks. Cooperation is essential. Take-out at Portland Park boat ramp about one mile past SR 20 bridge.

   Read gpax's report

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Cmt Alaqua Creek CommentsLogin to Post   
pnerissa on 6/10/2013 6:51pm
I'm liking the sticker idea... I could even put a bullseye on my paddle blade to assist with the slayings...

quincypair on 5/26/2013 9:17am
Reminds me of the German fair tale about the Brave Little Tailor who killed 7 flies with one blow and engraved this achievement on his belt before he set out into the world to make his fortune. Keep on trying, you may make it to seven, and then you can put "Seven with one stroke" on your kayak! Or, if that's seems an impossible mark, how about fly hashes (spelling?), the symbols that football players put on their helmets. There must have fly stickers at Michaels, or better yet put death's-head symbols, and let the viewer jump to their own conclusions (as did those who read the tailor's belt engraving.)

When paddling St. George Island Bay in Eastpoint two years ago one pesky fly thought that the forward interior of the cockpit was his domain and my legs a perfect perch. It was getting so irritating that I was thinking of paddling to the shallows, capsizing and drowning that pesky thing. Not as elegant a solution a yours and to others it would seem a self-defeating one. But these flies could drive anyone beyond sanity.
hikeswithcanoe on 8/2/2009 8:40am
I should add a few things.

When you get your Eglin permit, they send you a nice, detailed map. Ask to buy an extra one or two while you are at it, they are dirt cheap and its always nice to have another handy.

The resertavion is HUGE. It is divided into areas of public acess and off limits areas. The land split is about 50/50 area wise. The public access areas are divided into a dozen or so smaller areas. At any given time, there are usually at least one or two of these smaller areas that are temporarily closed. So, its important to call the access hotline before any trip.

Regarding creeks. There are plenty you can get acess to in the public acesss areas. However, as I said, portions of many of these creeks are in off limits areas.

Florida law basically says if you can get on a creek somewhere legally, you can paddle anywhere that body of water leads. I doubt that applies to these off limits areas on a military testing range. I have never asked an official from Eglin if that is case. I think to assume that it does apply is a bad idea. It also doesnt make any sense. You arent less likey to run across old ordinance, get bombs dropped on you, interfere with a military exercise, or see something your not supposed to see just because you happen to be on a tiny creek vs hiking in the off limits areas.

If someone wants to do some research and they find out otherwise that would be fantastic and I would welcome such news. But, till then I am staying out of these areas.

Also, remember you must have a permit AND have it with you. If you dont they will fine you and make you leave the reservation, which at the very least will likely ruin your trip.
hikeswithcanoe on 8/1/2009 7:04pm

Regarding Eglin.

Eglin is dvided into two main types of areas. Public access generally allowed and public acess generally NOT allowed.

There are many streams that either start in the NOT allowed areas, or have sections that are in the the NOT allowed areas. One needs to be careful to not accidently paddle into these areas. Just because you are lost or didnt see a sign (or even if they did not have a sign) is NO excuse. And remember, this is the miltary and it is THEIR base. If you are found in an off limits area you could face a heavy fine. They might even confiscate your equipment permanently. The worst case could be a PERMANENT revocation of your annual/pass/ permit. If you cant be trusted to stay out of off limits areas, why should they give you a pass ever again?

Eglin has some world class creeks on it. Be careful not to loose your access to them.

And as for that phone number, when you call it, there are often sections of the areas that we are allowed to travel that are temporarily closed. You really need make a habit of calling that number, because, again they are not going to be happy if you are where you arent supposed to be.
paddlesolo on 8/1/2009 3:26pm
At a recent meeting of the West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club we had a presentation by Barbara Albrecht from the Nature Conservancy and Donald Ray from the DEP. They are aquatic stream specialist and spoke about the importance of woody material protecting our streams.

After the meeting I inquired about the muddy condition of Big Alaqua Creek and this is the reply I received from Barbara Albrecht, Aquatic Ecologist for the Perdido River Nature Preserve.

'Many of the creeks on Eglin have been historic bombing targets in the past which have caused damage to the lower watershed over the years. In addition, Eglin’s main mission is to use their land for range activities – and this requires vegetative control. Vegetative control removes the root mats and leaf matter which control sediment erosion, and ultimately allow sediments to wash down into creeks. Eglin has an active Best Management Practices program in place to address sedimentation in area creeks and is currently addressing all of the watersheds on their 480,000 acre landscape. Through the knowledge of ecologists like Donald Ray, Eglin has now altered their practices and moved their targets to upland habitats. As a result of their commitment to their river and stream diversity, Eglin now has three full time aquatic biologists on staff to address these type of issues and restore areas from past activities."
paddlesolo on 7/24/2009 9:44am
You can paddle every stream that you can reach with public access. There are some areas that are blocked to public use such as bombing ranges and firing ranges. Also there are days when Eglin Air Force is doing maneuvers that access to the regularly paddled streams is blocked.

There is a number to call to check, but the club rarely does that. In four years I can only think of one time when paddlers reached a spot to access a creek, and had to cancel. I have also heard grousing about roads being blocked and not posted on the phone system.

When we did the Rocky Creek paddle we had to turn around and take a different road to get to the put-in because the main road was blocked for maneuvers. There is a section of the Alaqua that one cannot paddle becauseaccess is blocked by the military.

The nicest thing about paddling on the Eglin Reservation is it is preserved as pristine wilderness, no development to be seen, just Mother Nature in all her glory.
admin on 7/24/2009 5:39am
GPAX and Paddlesolo - nice write up and photos on a new location in Eglin AFB. So can you paddle all creeks / rivers through Eglin or does the military limit you to specific ones?

Location by gpax, last updated on 6/10/2013.
It has been viewed 3432 times and has 9 posts.