The Chipola River is a paddlers’ dream and has over 60 fresh water springs, the largest number of any river in Northwest Florida. The Chipola River is a tributary of the Apalachicola River in western Florida. It is part of the ACF River Basin watershed. The 92.5-mile-long (148.9 km) river crosses present-day Jackson, Calhoun and Gulf counties. The river flows through what is now preserved as the Dead Lakes State Recreation Area just before reaching its mouth at the confluence with the Apalachicola. The Dead Lakes were formed when the Apalachicola deposited sand bars blocking the mouth of the Chipola. We will be following the scenic 51-mile Chipola River Paddling Trail through high bluffs, river swamps and hardwood forests. 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. We will also be paddling one of Florida’s most unique places – Dead Lakes, located in Wewahitchka, FL. We will visit this beautiful lake and its diverse ecosystem teeming with life amidst the skeletal remnants of the old forest which has given way to Cypress and Tupelo trees over time.
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