FLORIDA'S HIDDEN GEM, THE CHIPOLA RIVER AND FLORIDA CAVERNS

STARTING AT
$1,450
7 Days
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Florida’s Hidden Gem, the Chipola River Paddle, & Florida Caverns

OVERVIEW

Chipola River Base Camp

Fed by numerous springs, this scenic 51-mile paddling trail flows through high bluffs, river swamps and hardwood forests, with few signs of humanity along most of the river. Chipola River is photographer’s delight with colorful fall foliage, spring wildflowers and abundant wildlife. The water alters color from clear gold to an opal-like blue, with crystal clear springs tucked along the river. Limestone bluffs and caves, part of the unique karst geology, add to the unique beauty of the Chipola River.

TOUR DATES

April 21-27, 2024

March 2-8, 2025

All guests will meet at the tent campsites at the Florida Caverns State Park at 2pm.  We will set up camp, go over introductions, cover the day to day itinerary, answer all questions, take a short nature hike, then return in time for our first dinner together, fireside!

MONDAY: Beautiful upper section of paddling with lots of springs and tiny caves, we paddle until the river goes underground at Florida Caverns S.P, we will portage (vans) then put back in and paddle 6 more miles to the Magnolia Bridge. 10.5 total miles of paddling

TUESDAY: Magnolia Bridge to Johnny Boy Landing. 16.5 miles of paddling. This section of river is shaded and includes a few riffles, great picnic lunch spot with a huge pasture, and a few spring runs to explore.

WEDNESDAY: Johnny Boy Landing to Jehue Landing. 18 miles of paddling

THURSDAY: Today we will paddle and explore the mysterious Ocheeses Pond. This well kept secret is a huge sinkhole that has filled with millions of cypress trees that now make up a giant swamp that makes you feel like you are going to be swallowed up by the Earth itself. Bring your cameras for the blooming pitcher plants and bladder worts.

FRIDAY: Way back in the day the first settlers of Marianna damned the spring run to power a grain mill. Several large springs now feed the Merritt Mill Pond. We will paddle the crystal clear water, paddle into a few spring caves, and get out of our kayaks and snorkel a few. If there is enough daylight left we will float the spring run from Merritt Mill Pond to the confluence of the Chipola. Sleep will come fast and hard after a huge fireside dinner!

SATURDAY: A bit of a drive with a huge pay off. Today we will explore Dead Lakes with all of it’s skeleton trees, tupelo, and giant cypress. We will also stop in nearby Wewahitchka for some local tupelo honey.

SUNDAY: Take your time with a morning hike, bike, or paddle. We will start packing up after a hearty breakfast. Guests can depart at their own leisure.

We have reserved the entire group camping spot that includes tent sites, 3 rv sites, a large covered pavilion, and a private bath house with modern restrooms and hot showers.

The leaders will prepare and serve all meals. Meals included in the trip fee begin with lunch on the first day and end with lunch on the last day. Meals served on the trip will honor and reflect local cuisine. A typical dinner would consist of shrimp Creole, white rice, garlic bread, fresh salad, and something chocolate for dessert. If you have a particular diet or allergy please let us know prior to the trip.

Adventures in Florida provides all meals, kayaks/canoes, paddling gear, paddling safety gear, permits, shuttles, and two local experienced guides.

This is a wonderful paddle for new or experienced paddlers alike. Everyone should be in reasonable shape, be comfortable swimming, be able to get in and out of their own kayak with out help, and be able to help carry gear each day.

WHAT MAKES OUR TOURS DIFFERENT FROM THE REST?

Be sure to download the following files:

Be sure to download the following files:

PICK-UP LOCATION

3208 East Colonial Drive #261, Orlando, FL 32803
From Orlando Go east on highway 528 towards Cape Canaveral. Drive 1 mile past exit #52 you will cross a bridge, at the end of the bridge immediately exit to the right off the highway and onto the dirt road beside 528. Follow the dirt road to the right, drive under the bridge and follow the dirt road back around to the other side until you find the 3 tikki torches and a big white van pulling a kayak trailer. If you pass the turn off on the right just make a u turn 1/4 mile past the turn off, head west on the 528 and exit the dirt parking lot before the bridge with a big sign that says “Banana River Drive” exit 52 1 mile.

Orlando International Airport

1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando,
FL 32827

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