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Paddling in the Florida Panhandle

16 Top Destinations... Maps, Photos, Reports

By kayak or canoe, the Florida Panhandle has some of the best freshwater paddling in Florida, and some of the most remote and natural. Sheltered saltwater bays provide additional options. All are unique in their own way. Find rentals, shuttles, and tours. Select a destination for details. Note: the Panhandle can be cold in the winter; insects (especially yellow flies) are notorious during the warmer months. For the most pleasant paddling, we recommend trips in the spring or fall. We especially avoid heavily forested areas during the summer.

Regional Map, Panhandle
(see individual maps via links below)

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Panhandle Region... 16 First-hand Reports

Panhandle, Apalachicola Apalachicola Bay at St. George Island... Best paddling area on bay. Shallow, clear. Popular with visitors, fishermen, and nature lovers. Rentals on-site (view details...)

Graham Creek Apalachicola River WEA, Graham Creek... Remote, wild, over 100 miles of mapped trails, 6 launches. A local favorite is Graham Creek and East River trail (view details...)

Blackwater River Blackwater River... Remote and pristine in Blackwater River State Forest. A 31 mile State designated paddling trail. White sand beaches. Rentals, shuttles (view details...)

Boiling Creek Boiling Creek... Remote, wild, preserved by its location within Eglin Air Force Base. Base entry permit required. Clear, swift current, flows into Yellow River (view details...)

Upper Chipola Chipola River Overview... 51 mile and 4.5 mile Designated Paddling Trails, separated by the river running underground. Sections described in our trip reports. Rentals, shuttles (view details...)

Upper Chipola Chipola River (Upper) at Florida Caverns... Heading downstream, the upper river goes underground at the State Park, so paddling here is up and back. Rentals (view details...)

Spring Creek, Chipola River Chipola River - Lower... Paddle through hardwood forest. Gets muddy after rains. Spring Creek is a clear water option onto the Chipola. Tours, Rentals (view details...)

Coldwater Creek Coldwater Creek... The upper portion is clear, very shallow, and swift. Popular with tubers. Widens and deepens approaching take-out. Rentals, shuttle (view details...)

Holmes Creek Holmes Creek... Feed by numerous springs. Drains a farming region, so gets murky after rains. When water is clear, a true paddling gem. Rentals available (view details...)

Juniper Creek Juniper Creek... Popular with locals. Narrower and more ecologically diverse than other nearby destinations. A greater variety of wildlife (view details...)

Merritt's Mill Pond Merritt's Mill Pond... Crystal clear, spring-fed pond with cypress trees fronting much of the shoreline. Popular with snorkelers, divers. Unique place (view details...)

Ochlockonee River Ochlockonee River... Paddling at Ochlockonee River State Park, on the river and scenic side creeks. Rentals on-site. (view details...)

Perdido River Perdido River... Paddling on the Alabama/ Florida border. Rentals on-site. Seasonal shuttle service. Tubing is popular, seasonal weekends especially (view details...)

Shoal River Shoal River... 9.5 mile designated paddling trail near Crestview FL (view details...)

Sopchoppy River Sopchoppy River... 15 mile designated paddling trail, slow-moving, wide and shallow. (view details...)

Wakulla River Wakulla River... 4 mile designated paddling trail, take the tour at Wakulla Springs State Park. Rentals available. (view details...)

Yellow River Yellow River... 54 mile designated paddling trail, 118 total miles in Alabama and Florida. (view details...)


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