Florida Paddling Trails Association

Minimum Flows for Florida Paddling Trails


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Min FlowHave you ever driven a long ways to a river and found it too low to paddle? This chart can help you determine if a designated paddling trail has sufficient water levels for paddling without frequently scraping the bottom. Using this chart and the availability of river gages that can be accessed online via satellite, a paddler, outfitter or trip leader can better plan an outing before embarking. Bear in mind that gages can only determine water levels and discharge rate, and not the conditions of rivers in regards to snags. In such cases, or where gages are not present, it is best to contact a nearby outfitter or paddling club.

Outfitters, public land managers and knowledgeable paddlers are an integral part of this ongoing data collection process. Feedback and input is welcome.

Please contact Doug Alderson with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails. This chart should be used in conjunction with the Office of Greenways website for Florida's Designated Paddling Trails.

The chart is only designed to be relevant to the river sections that are part of a designated paddling trail, and measurements are for gage height and not discharge rate.

Note: It is generally unsafe to paddle a river during flood stage. Also, some USGS gages may be closed in the near future due to federal budget cuts.


Websites for online gages referenced:

United States Geological Survey (USGS) by river basin


USGS gages by county

Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD)

Note: these gages are not in "real time," meaning that the information presented is a few days or weeks out of date. Contact local outfitters first.


Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD)


Tide Charts

On this website, you can check tides for 112 sites along the Gulf of Mexico

On this link, you can check tides for 102 sites along Florida

This site covers 172 sites along the Keys


N/A = no information available at this time or not applicable


Minimum Flows Chart

Paddling Trail

Section most affected by low water

Gage used

Min level for good paddling

Perdido

Contact Adventures Unlimited, Perdido: 850-968-5529

USGS

02376293

Bratt

N/A

Coldwater Creek

Contact Adventures Unlimited: 850-623-6197

USGS

02370500

Milton

N/A

Sweetwater/Juniper Creek

Above Red Rock Bridge.

Contact Adventures Unlimited: 850-968-5529 or Bob's Canoe Rentals: 850-623-5457.

No online gage

N/A

Blackwater River

Consistently navigable.

Contact Action on Blackwater: 850-537-2997

USGS

02370000

Baker

N/A

Yellow River

Above Milligan (Hwy 90)

 

USGS

02368000

1 ft.?

Shoal River

Usually navigable below Hwy 90

USGS

02369000

Crestview

N/A

Holmes Creek

Springfed. All of designated trail navigable.

USGS

02366000

Vernon

N/A

Econfina Creek

Between Scott's Bridge and Walsingham Park. Call Econfina Creek Canoe Livery, 850-722-9032.

Note: real time gauge at Hwy 20 has a 10-12 hour delay, but it can help paddlers determine navigability for upper section. It should be between 15-16 feet for good paddling: http://www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us/hydrology/realtime/124.htm

NWFWMD
544

Scott's Bridge

 

 

Best between 2 and 4 ft.

Chipola River



Upper Chipola River

Designated trail usually navigable.

Contact Bear Paw Canoe Rentals, 850-482-4948.

USGS

02358789

Marianna


Above 12 feet not recommended for beginners.

Upper Chipola Between 5-8 is best. Above 10-11 feet is dangerous. 

Ochlockonee River North

All. Upper river is prone to snags.

Note: Gage may be discontinued.

USGS

0239000

Havana

12.5 ft

Ochlockonee River South

Above Whitehead Landing

USGS

02330150

Smith Cr.

6.2 ft

Sopchoppy River

Oak Park Cemetery Bridge to    Mt. Beeser Church Bridge

USGS

02327100

Oak Park

 9 ft.

Wakulla River

Springfed river, always navigable

 

N/A

Wacissa River

Slave Canal. Best on a high tide.

USGS

02326550

Nutall Rise

7.5 ft. median

(tidally influenced)

Aucilla River

 

 

Econfina River

All, especially shoals and above

Hwy 27

 

Above park boat ramp

SRWMD

Lamont

 

USGS 02326000   

48-50 ft.

 

 

7.5 ft.

Withlacoochee River North

Above Blue Springs State Park

SRWMD

Pinetta

54 ft.

Suwannee River North

Above Suwannee Springs. Big Shoals may require portaging below 55 ft.

For upper river around Fargo, GA, SRWMD Fargo gage should read above 93.5 ft.

SRWMD

White Sprs.

52 ft.

Suwannee River South

consistently navigable below Suwannee Springs

 

N/A

Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail

Tidally influenced. Log onto http://myfwc.com/recreation/

for more information.

 

N/A

Santa Fe

Above Hwy 27 Bridge. 1-2 low spots below 27 if 441 gage is below 31.5.

Contact Santa Fe Canoe Outpost:

386-454-2050

SRWMD

U.S. 441 Br.

32 ft

St. Mary's

Contact St. Mary's River Fish Camp: 866-845-4443

USGS

02231000

Macclenny

 2 ft.

Pellicer

Always navigable.

Contact Faver-Dykes State Park:

904-794-0997

USGS

02247222

Espanola

N/A

Bulow Creek

Always navigable

Contact Bulow Creek State Park:

386-676-4050

No gage

N/A

Tomoka

Always navigable.

Contact Tomoka State Park:

386-676-4050

USGS

02247510

Holly Hill

N/A

Spruce Creek

Tidally influenced.

Contact Greenways (formerly Spruce Creek Outfitters): 386-763-9417.

USGS

02248000

Samsula

Tidally influenced

Withlacoochee River South

Lacoochee to Silver Lake. Contact Nobleton Outpost: 352-796-7176 (open Fri-Mon).

USGS

02312558

Nobleton

38.10 ft.

Wekiva River/Rock Springs Run

Springfed. Wekiva is usually navigable but Rock Springs Run can be low at times. Call King's Landing outfitters: 407-886-0859.

USGS

02235000

Near Sanford

N/A

Econlockhatchee

Contact Seminole Paddle Adventures: (407) 925-7896.

USGS

02233484

Oviedo

 

flood stage over 18 feet; may have some snags in upper section below 11 feet.

Pithlachascotee

River usually navigable below Grey Preserve

USGS

02310300

Near New Port Richey

N/A

Hillsborough

Above Sargeant Park

Contact Canoe Escape: 813-986-2067

USGS

02303330

Morris Br.

N/A

Alafia

River usually navigable

USGS

02301500

Lithia

N/A

Little Manatee

Call Canoe Outpost: 813-634-2228 or Little Manatee Kayaking, LLC 813-777-0021

USGS

02300500

Wimauma

2 ft.

Paddle Manatee

Most of the 75-mile trail network is tidally influenced.

 

N/A

Upper Manatee

Contact Ray's Canoe Hideaway:

(888) 572-2663

 

N/A

Peace

Above Zolfo Springs

Call Canoe Outpost: 800-268-0083

Below Zolfo, may have to zig-zag to find deep enough water during low rainfall periods.

USGS

02294898

Ft. Meade

72 ft.

Loxahatchee

Above Trapper Nelson's historic site. Call Canoe Outfitters: 561-746-7053 (open Th-Mon).

No gage

Often low

in spring

Hickey Creek

Always navigable

 

N/A

Estero

Always navigable

 

N/A

Blackwater River/Royal

Palm Hammock

Tidally influenced

 

Tidally influenced

FL Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

Tidally influenced

 


Tidally influenced




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