Florida Paddling Trails Association
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Econfina/St. Andrews

In this segment be sure to bring a mask and snorkel for Holmes Creek and Econfina Creek as both feature crystalline springs. The upper portion of Econfina Creek might be the most challenging river trip in Florida.

Florida Cities: Panama City, Panama City Beach, Bonifay, Chipley

Contact: Contact our Region A Director or Trailkeeper for more information by clicking here Click Here

 

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6 Locations in Econfina/St. Andrews
LocationRatingViewsPostsUpdated
Crooked Islandrating534716/21/2013
Econfina Creekrating5672312/31/2013
Grayton Beach-2168012/11/2008
Holmes Creek-2844012/10/2008
Peach Creek-206214/29/2010
Seven Runs Creek-250114/29/2010


This is Segment 3, Region A. Be sure to bring a mask and snorkel if paddling either Holmes Creek or Econfina Creek. Both are remote streams that feature crystalline springs. Also, the upper portion of Econfina Creek might be the most challenging river paddle in Florida due to its rushing water, hairpin turns and steep banks. The middle and lower portions of the river are slower moving and okay for beginners.

The coastal part of this segment starts at Grayton Beach State Park. It's one of the few places in the world where coastal dune lakes meet saltwater and a sliver of sand is all the separates the freshwater of Western Lake from the Gulf of Mexico.

After exploring Western Lake be sure to stop at the master-planned resort community of Seaside. It's picture perfect, in-fact so much as many of the scenes from the movie The Truman Show with Jim Carey were filmed here.

Next stop is Panama City Beach (PCB), popular with vacationers and home to one of the largest Spring Break gatherings in the state. If you plan on staying at a motel be sure to get reservations in advance, as spring and summer are the busy seasons.

Leaving the "big city" behind, you'll enter into a more remote environment where your new companions are dolphins and an occasional fishing boat or jet fighter from Tyndall Air Force Base. This stretch (25 miles) offers incredible views of coastal dunes shaped by years of storms.

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is a fitting end to this saltwater section, offering a true coastal wilderness experience. The preserve is accessible by foot or by boat, and circumnavigation paddlers can primitive camp in the preserve with advance reservations.

63 miles of circumnavigational trail

2 state designated river trails


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Environmental Considerations

  • The upper part of Econfina Creek requires intermediate to advanced paddling skills. It may require an overnight camping stop to complete section. The gauge at Scott's Bridge at put-in should be between 2 and 4 feet for best results.
  • The coastal stretch has long stretches without public camping locations and will require motel overnights. Distinguishing motels from condominiums from the water can be difficult, as most motels are not marked on the water side.
  • No camping is allowed on Tyndall Air Force Base, so a 25 mile paddle is required from St. Andrews State Park to Mexico Beach, where motel accommodations can be made
  • A GPS unit is a vital piece of equipment in the coastal stretch as breakers along the beach may make it necessary to paddle farther offshore and fog can shroud landmarks

Primary Overnight Stops & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail

  • Grayton Beach State Park Campground to Grand Cayman Motel, 14 miles
  • Grand Cayman Motel to St. Andrews State Park Campground, 17.5 miles
  • St. Andrews State Park Campground to Mexico Beach, 25 miles
  • Mexico Beach to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, 6.5 miles

River Trails

  • Holmes Creek (9 miles)
  • Econfina Creek (24 miles)

Emergency Contacts

  • Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
  • Walton County Sheriff: 850-892-8186
  • Bay County Sheriff: 850-747-4700
  • Gulf County Sheriff: 850-227-1115
  • Tyndall Air Force Base Operator: 850-283-1113
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922

External Site Links



Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau

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