Florida Paddling Trails Association
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Big Bend

With the exception of the Ten Thousand Islands / Everglades segment, this is the remotest part of the circumnavigational trail, and certainly the longest, featuring 153.5 miles of unspoiled shoreline, marsh and sea islands.

Florida Cities: Perry, Steinhatchee, Suwannee, Cedar Key

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


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12 Locations in Big Bend
Big Bend Saltwater Trailrating5812812/8/2009
Cedar Keyrating659325/5/2011
Cow Creek-2629012/14/2008
Dallus Creekrating2826212/8/2009
Econfina River State Park-2391112/8/2009
Horseshoe Beach-2165311/8/2014
Little Wekiva-2316012/14/2008
Shell Mound-2088012/11/2008
Steinhatchee River-2548012/10/2008
Suwannee NWR-2118012/11/2008
Waccasassa Riverrating355016/5/2011
Withlacoochee North-2548012/10/2008

This is Segment 6, Region C. With the exception of the Ten Thousand Islands / Everglades segment, this is the remotest part of the circumnavigational trail, and certainly the longest, featuring 153.5 miles of unspoiled shoreline, marsh and sea islands.

The first 95-mile stretch of the trail, including six primitive campsites, is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as part of the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail. Free permits must be obtained before using any of the campsites and you must paddle from top to bottom. For more information about FWC permits and how to purchase the trail guide, MyFWC site.

Near the Suwannee River, you'll pass through lands managed by the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Camping is not allowed in either refuge.

The coastal part of the segment ends at the Cross Florida Greenway Spoil Island near Yankeetown. Be sure to stop in Yankeetown for that well deserved shower and piping hot meal!

Two rivers also lure paddlers: The Econfina and Steinhatchee. Both are swamp-fed and tannin colored. The Econfina is more of a wilderness river with abundant wildlife and some snags to negotiate. The Steinhatchee is passable below Highway 98 where it emerges from underground and includes a shoals area known as Steinhatchee Falls. The shores become more developed with fish camps and seafood restaurants near the town of Steinhatchee. Since online maps may not be available for the Econfina and Steinhatchee rivers, it is recommended that paddlers obtain a copy of "A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to Florida."

153.5 miles of circumnavigational trail

2 river trails

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Environmental Considerations

  • Most coastal campsites in this segment require special permits - available through Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • This is a remote area where cell phone coverage can be non-existent
  • Be properly equipped and prepared and leaving a float plan is very important
  • Long distance coastal paddling requires traveling two to four days at a time without being able to replenish fresh water supplies and opportunities for replenishing food supplies are also scarce
  • Tide chart required. The coast here can be very shallow and low tides can present a problem for navigation. You may have to paddle a mile or two off the coast during extreme low tides
  • Steinhatchee Falls requires a skill level of intermediate to advanced to navigate safely. Canoes and kayaks can be launched below the falls.
  • Allow 4-6 hours to navigate the Econfina River due to numerous snags. Make sure water levels are sufficient at the 98 Bridge before embarking.

Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail

  • Lower Aucilla River ramp to Econfina River State Park, 10 miles
  • Econfina River State Park to Rock Island Campsite, 10.5 miles
  • Rock Island Campsite to Spring Warrior Creek Campsite, 11 miles
  • Spring Warrior Creek Campsite to Sponge Point Campsite, 12.5 miles
  • Sponge Point Campsite to Dallus Creek Campsite, 8 miles
  • Dallus Creek Campsite to Steinhatchee, 8 miles
  • Steinhatchee to Sink Creek Campsite, 10 miles
  • Sink Creek Campsite to Butler Island Campsite, 14 miles
  • Butler Island Campsite to Angler's Resort Campsite in Suwannee, 11.5 miles
  • Angler's Resort Campsite to Shell Mound Park campground, 12 miles
  • Shell Mound Campground to Hall Creek Campsite, 10 miles
  • Hall Creek Campsite to Kelly Creek Campsite, 8 miles
  • Kelly Creek Campsite to Waccasassa River Campsite 7 miles
  • Waccasassa River Campsite to Turtle Creek Campsite, 7 miles
  • Turtle Creek Campsite to Cross Florida Greenway Spoil Island Campsite, 14 miles

River Trails

  • Econfina River (6 miles from Highway 98 to state park ramp)
  • Steinhatchee River (10 miles from falls to mouth)

Emergency Contacts

  • Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
  • Wakulla County Sheriff: 850-926-0800
  • Jefferson County Sheriff: 850-997-2523
  • Taylor County Sheriff: 850-584-4225
  • Dixie County Sheriff: 352-498-1220
  • Levy County Sheriff: 352-486-5111
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922

External Site Links

Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau

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