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Ochlockonee River (Lower) Canoe Trail

The Ochlockonee River (Lower) Canoe Trail is officially designated as part of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails. The trail flows 65 miles through the Panhandle of Florida. The trail begins just below Lake Talquin, which was formed by the Jackson Bluff Dam. The impounded waters cover the old floodplain of the Ochlockonee River. Water releases from the dam occur without notice and affect the river level and flow. The water level of the trail also varies with rainfall. In flood seasons, it can be swift and sometimes difficult, and during a drought, sandbars and snags can mean many pullovers or portages.

The habitats along the river are varied and include high bluffs with loblolly pine, beech, magnolia and oak, and cypress swamp and quiet sloughs in the flood plain area. The diverse plant communities provide homes for many kinds of wildlife. Deer, wild hog, squirrel, opossum, and raccoon are common in the woodlands by the river’s edge. Aquatic birds are often seen, including the graceful, long-legged wading birds, the unusual limpkin, and scores of ducks during fall and winter months. Fishing for bass, bream, speckled perch and catfish is great at almost any point along the trail. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker inhabits the pine flatwoods near the river. Much of the trail winds gently through the Apalachicola National Forest before ending at Ochlockonee River State Park. There are a number of campsites along the trail in the national forest, and camping is also available at Ochlockonee River State Park. As you approach the state park, the river becomes broader and slower, and motorboats become more numerous. High winds are possible, and the river becomes more influenced by tides.

Major Activities: Paddling

Counties: Wakulla, Franklin, Liberty, Leon
Mileage: 65
Skill Level: Beginner
Difficulty: Easy
Usual Current: Average (2-3 mph)

Notes and Precautions
The Lower Ochlockonee River is dam-controlled to the Ochlockonee Bay. Usually the water flow is consistent with the rainfall received the previous week. For information on water releases, call (850) 891-5993.

The following alternative landings can be found during low water conditions on sloughs off the main course of the river:

  • Rock Bluff Scenic Area – Take SR 20 west to SR 375, then south to NFR 390. Turn north to end of road. Path to river.
  • Stoutamire Landing (Private) – Primitive road off SR 375 south. Road is marked. (3 miles)
  • Drakes Landing (Private) – Primitive road off SR 375 south. Road is not marked. ( 2 miles)
  • Telogia Creek (Private) – From Telogia (west of river) take SR 67 south to Good Hope Church. Turn east onto primitive road to river. (12 miles from SR 20)
  • Hitchcock Lake – From Telogia travel 22 miles south on SR 67 to NFR 184. Turn east, go .75 mile to Hitchcock Lake. (camping available)

    There are numerous landings, mostly private, south of Ochlockonee River State Park to Ochlockonee Bay. There is heavy motorboat traffic in this area. Landings in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge are open to the public. Call Apalachicola National Forest for additional information (850) 926-3561.

    SR 20 Bridge – From Tallahassee, travel west for 22 miles to bridge.
    Pine Creek Landing – Take SR 20 to CR 375, turn south, go 10 miles to NFR 335. Turn west on NFR 335 for 1.5 miles to landing. (15 miles)(Primitive Camping)
    Whitehead Lake – From SR 20, take CR 375 south 17 miles to NFR 13 / CR 368. Turn west, cross Ochlockonee bridge, then go 2.5 miles to NFR 186, turn east on NFR 186 to Whitehead Lake Campground. (10 miles)
    Revell Landing – From SR 20 take CR 375 south 17 miles to NFR 13 / CR 368. Turn west, cross Ochlockonee bridge, go 4 miles to CR 67. Turn south for 3.5 miles to NFR 152, go east 1 mile to landing. (3 miles)
    Mack Landing – From SR 20, take CR 375 south 23 miles to NFR 336, go west 1 mile to campground. (6 miles)
    Robert’s Landing – From SR 20, take CR 375 south 24 miles, turn west at sign. (5 miles)
    Wood Lake – From SR 20 take CR 375 south 27 miles to NFR 340, turn south, travel 2.5 miles. Follow road to NFR 338 south for 2 miles to sign. Turn at sign. (12 miles)
    Ochlockonee River State Park – Take US 319 south of Sopchoppy for 4.5 miles to entrance sign. Turn east. (14 miles)

    There may be access points (both public and private) in addition to those listed here. Please remember that some sites require a fee for launching and/or parking.