Blackwater River Report
(Bryant Bridge to Deaton Bridge)

View: More Blackwater River reports, Santa Rosa County Locations 

Report By:  Unknown    Date: 10/16/2010 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 4 photos     Map & Directions: View

An unseasonably warm fall day on the river. How much better can it get?

My Report:

You can see this route at:

(all on one line, no break or space after the "?") Hit the "Satelite" button in the upper right hand corner of the maps to see it as an aerial photograph.

If I had to pick a day of more perfect weather, I'd have to wait another year. High 60's when we left the house and low 80's at the take-out. Sunny, nice breeze . . . who could ask for a more incredible day?

The weather was unseasonably warm. It was a stark contrast to the trip we took last year on the same weekend down Big Juniper Creek. That weekend was over 20 degrees colder.

Because the summer had been so dry and the water level gauge in Baker is about a foot lower (at 1.5 feet) than past summers, I was a bit leary of picking a trip in upstream regions, where we might end up "kayak hiking." So to play it safe, I narrowed the choices down to three trips in the more downstream reaches of area streams (uh . . . rivers . . . sorry) and let one of the ladies draw the final choice from a hat. So it was God's choice. And he knew what he was doing.

The river was spectacular. A steady flow, not fast, but enough to keep everyone moving along nicely with minimal effort.

Mid-October in the panhandle means there is minimal fall color. Past the peak of summer green and lush, but not much.

One feature of this route is the "tall bluffs" (approximately 20 feet tall) about 1.5 miles along into the paddle.

In terms of difficulty, this leg of the Blackwater is an easy paddle, although it may be a bit long for younger kids and the elderly.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's website has more information about the route. See for the guide. The section from Bryant Bridge Road to Deaton Bridge Road is marked "4" and "5" on the map,respectively. This info page notes that the route is 6 miles long. However, as many have noted in previous trip reports, the route is 9 miles long, probably due to how winding the river is.

There are plenty of sandy "beach" areas for picnicing along the way, although many are prominently marked "Private Property, No Trespassing."

A great time was had by all. This was my 2nd trip with two couples I've known for 15 years. Hopefully we'll do it sooner that next October. I'd like to come again with kids and dogs in tow. Note that dogs are prohibited in the Blackwater River State Park (where this route ends), so another river will have to be chosen.

Thanks for the previous trip reports. They were informative in selecting this run for myself and guests.

CREDITS: Mike, the one paddler who appears in none of the trip photos, shot all of the attached photos. He is truly a gifted amateur photographer.

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 9
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Bryant Bridge to Deaton Bridge:    (Click image to view full size)

Aerial photo No Comm
Aerial photo

Winding, twisting . . .

Enjoying the sun. No Comm
Enjoying the sun.
The bluffs. No Comm
The bluffs.
A beautiful fall day No Comm
A beautiful fall day

Post Date: 11/3/2010

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