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Latest update: December 2014

Chipola River Paddling Trail...

Kayaking from Spring Creek

The Chipola River flows 89 miles through Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf Counties to the Apalachicola River. The 51 mile Chipola River Designated Paddling Trail (lower trail) runs from just below Florida Caverns State Park to Scott's Ferry near the Dead Lakes, and is separated from the 4.5 mile Upper Chipola River Designated Paddling Trail due to the river running underground. On the lower trail, we paddled from the dam at the top of Spring Creek to the Chipola River and continued downstream to the SR280/Magnolia Road Bridge. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Paddle Florida Panhandle, Chipola River, Kayak, Canoe

Chipola River Paddling Trail Map
(Upper, Lower, & Spring Creek)

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Distance: 51 mile padding traill, 89 miles total
Location: Calhoun, Jackson and Gulf Counties
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
: No
Launch points: SR 166/Yancey Bridge, Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area, SR 280 Bridge/Magnolia Road, SR 278 Bridge/Peacock Bridge Road, Johnny Boy Landing, CR 274 Bridge, Lamb Eddy Landing, SR 20 Bridge, Jehue Landing, SR 71 Bridge at Scott’s Ferry. (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Florida Caverns State Park, Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blue Springs Recreational Area


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Chipola River Outfitters (rentals)

Chipola River (lower) and Spring Creek... Comments and Photos

Spring Creek is formed by the outflow from Jackson Blue Springs, but a dam cuts it off from the source. The creek runs into the Chipola River north of Magnolia Road. The public launch at the dam is better suited to tubers than kayaks - launch via the outfitter across the creek, or downstream at Turner's Landing. The spring run features crystal clear water, but can be crowded with tubers during the busy summer season.

We used the outfitter to launch, and paddled down the Chipola River to Magnolia Road Bridge - a short but scenic 4 mile ride.

Spring Creek

Spring Creek has beautiful clear water, on this day lined with flowers. We are told it can also be crowded on weekends. On the other side of the dam is Merritt's Mill Pond, which is a unique paddle in its own right (see link below).

Chipola River - Spring Creek to CR280 / Magnolia Road Bridge

There had been recent rains and below the State Park, the lower Chipola River was high and muddy. For this reason, we decided on another route. We used an outfitter shuttle service and paddled down clear Spring Creek to the Chipola River. Entering the Chipola, we turned right and paddled a ways upstream before turning around and paddling back to our car at the outfitter, by the Magnolia Road Bridge. We've heard many good things from locals and look forward to revisiting this section of the lower Chipola River when the water levels are right

Launches at CR280 / Magnolia Road Bridge

The public launch next to the Magnolia Road Bridge is an easy hand-launch. We used the adjacent Outfitter for a shuttle to the top of Spring Creek. Upon return, we found a slightly steeper, but good River launch at the Outfitter's too, and parking is more secure.

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