QUESTION: How do I make a
reservation for a paddling trip?
ANSWER: Apply on-line at this link: reservation
QUESTION: I don't want to camp
overnight. Can I use the trail area anyway for day
ANSWER: Yes, you are certainly welcome to explore
the area on day trips. There is a wonderful diversity of paddling
opportunities on rivers and along the Gulf. The paddling
guide will give you useful information about day trips you can
take in the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area. Access the Office
& Greenways and Trail website at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/
for information on other state canoe trails in the region.
QUESTION: Can I make up my own
trip schedule and camping nights instead of taking one of the four
trip options you have available?
ANSWER: No, the only trip options available for
overnight camping are four designated trips. You
must stick with your campsite permit schedule. We have set up this
structure in order to accommodate the largest number of paddlers
while protecting these small coastal hammocks and islands.
QUESTION: How many people can camp
at a site?
ANSWER: Our seven primitive campsites
are located on islands and coastal hammocks. These are fragile
environments, and the clearings for camping are small. A maximum of
eight people or four tents is allowed per site, per night.
QUESTION: Is there a fee for the
ANSWER: No, at this time there is no fee for
issuing camping permits.
QUESTION: I want to do the trail
from south to north; is this permissible?
ANSWER: No, you must paddle from a north to south
direction, even on the three-day trips. Due to the nature of each
campsite, and their capacity to hold only one camping party, and
due to scheduling challenges, we have set up this structure in
order to accommodate the largest number of paddlers.
QUESTION: Can I apply for more
than one trip at a time or an alternate trip if my dates are not
ANSWER: You may go on-line to check on
availability of trip dates and to make a trip reservation. You may
only apply for one trip per calendar month and you may not apply
more than six months ahead of your intended trip date.
QUESTION: Do I need a GPS
ANSWER: A GPS unit is very helpful to locate
navigational reference points. The low angle of vision from a kayak
can make it difficult to distinguish creek mouths and other
reference points from the surrounding salt marsh. Be sure you bring
extra batteries along with a hand-held compass as a back up.
QUESTION: Where can I leave my
ANSWER: We recommend you contact an outfitter to
arrange shuttle service and secure parking. Parking areas are not
patrolled and we cannot assume responsibility for any damage to
your vehicle. Leave your vehicle at your own risk.
Check the www.purewaterwilderness.com/
websites for a list of outfitters in the area for possible shuttle
information. Also check with the concessionaire at the Econfina
River State Park campground for secure parking and shuttle
availability regarding the put-in at the Aucilla River at the
northern end of the trail for Trips 1 & 2.
At the south end, the Suwannee Community Center has
granted permission for overnight parking in front of their building
and a public launch is available in the canal beside the
QUESTION: Can I buy groceries and
eat at restaurants along the way?
ANSWER: Grocery stores along the route have
limited supplies and are days apart on some portions of the trail.
It is best to plan ahead and bring adequate freeze-dried food for
your trip. Check the websites for Dixie and Taylor Counties to see
restaurant and lodging options along the route:
QUESTION: What about potable water
along the trail? How much do I need to bring with me?
ANSWER: The paddling guide will direct you to the
location and quantity of water needed at refill points. You will
need to bring collapsible containers sufficient for holding a total
of 2 gallons of water. It is essential to stay well hydrated while
paddling; we recommend a minimum of 1 gallon per person per
QUESTION: I want to camp as little
as possible; do any of the different trips offer lodging at each
ANSWER: At this time there are limited options for
lodging along the paddling trail, and there are no trips that offer
lodging for each night of the trail segments. You will be required
to use a permitted campsite on any of the 4 trip options and you
must be equipped and experienced with primitive camping. There are
options for private lodging at Econfina River State Park, Keaton
Beach, Steinhatchee, Horseshoe Beach, and the town of Suwannee.
There are 7 designated camping sites for the paddling trail on the
Big Bend Wildlife Management Area. Camping is prohibited elsewhere
on the management area.
- Trip 1 has lodging available four nights out of eight: Econfina
River State Park, Keaton Beach, Steinhatchee, and Horseshoe Beach.
Camping is required at Rock Island, Spring Warrior, Dallus Creek,
and Sink Creek.
- Trip 2 has lodging available one night (Econfina River State
Park). Camp at Rock Island the next night.
- Trip 3 has lodging available at Keaton Beach. Camp at Dallus
Creek the next night.
- Trip 4 has lodging available at Horseshoe Beach. Camp at Sink
Creek the first night.
See these websites for lodging opportunities:
QUESTION: Are there bathrooms at
the campsites or along the trail?
ANSWER: There are no facilities at present at the
primitive campsites. The paddling guide includes locations of
portable toilets and public restrooms where available. There are
plans to eventually have composting toilets available at the
primitive campsites. In the meantime, you are required to bury
human waste in 'catholes' at least 6 to 8 inches deep and as far
away from water and the camping area as possible. Pack out all
paper and hygiene products.
QUESTION: How do I order the
ANSWER: Visit " Paddling Trail Guide" to buy a
copy on-line or to print an order form, or call: (850)
QUESTION: How do I cancel my
ANSWER: To cancel your reservation, go on-line,
select your current permit, and hit 'expire'. This will give
another group the chance to use the campsites you no longer
QUESTION: What kind of supplies
and gear do I need to bring?
ANSWER: See our " Paddling and Camping Tips." The Paddling
Trail Guide also provides a list of recommended gear and safety