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Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System

Salt water Creek
Graham Creek
woman paddling in kayak on Graham Creek

The Apalachicola River WEA Paddling Trail System is made up of nearly 100 miles of wilderness paddling trails. Download or order a guide or print out one of the 11 trip guides below.

Before you go, look over our safety and stewardship information and additional resources to prepare yourself for a safe, satisfying adventure.

Wilderness Paddling Tips

  • Review the 11 suggested paddling trips– most are laid-back paddling routes.
  • Print and bring the map for the paddling trip you plan to embark upon.
  • Allow plenty of time for your trip. Keep tides, currents and wind factors in mind.
    • Plan on about 2 miles per hour of paddling under normal conditions.
    • Leave overnight trips for more experienced paddlers.
  • Plan ahead: Check weather and tidal conditions (see “additional resources” below).
  • Three off-road bike racks are located at boat ramps. Shuttle your bicycle on Trips 1, 2, 3 and 7.
  • Camping areas are primitive and seasonal. Some require that campers obtain a free camping reservation permit. Review FWC camping regulations beforehand.

Safety and Stewardship

The Apalachicola River WEA is a unique wilderness area. Please share this invaluable resource with fellow paddlers, anglers and hunters. Minimize your impact: pack trash out, limit campfires and extinguish fires completely when leaving a campsite.

 Safety First:

 Do not paddle alone.
  • Let someone know your travel plans in case of emergency. File a float plan with departure information and arrival details. A template float plan can be downloaded from FWC's Boater Education page.
  • Check tidal charts before setting out.
  • Carry flares or a light that flashes SOS.
  • Pack a weather radio and extra batteries.
  • Bring charts/maps, compass and a waterproof GPS.
  • Wear a PFD; attach a marine whistle.
  • Carry at least 1 gallon of water per person per day.
  • Wear sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, SPF 30 waterproof-sunscreen.
  • Don’t rely on cell phone coverage.

Wildlife Tips:

Keep wildlife wild – keep your distance. Learn more about wildlife interactions.

Be “bear wise” and do not feed or try to attract them.

  • Keep campsites and picnic areas clean.
  • Pack out all food and garbage.
  • Do not take pets on your paddling trip – for their safety and yours.
  • If you do encounter a bear:
    • Do not block its escape route.
    • Do not make direct eye contact.
    • Make noise.
    • Back away slowly.
    • Do not run.

Keep your eyes open for snakes in vegetation and at boat landings. Most snakes are harmless and not aggressive.

  • Don’t try to catch or corner a snake. Most bites occur when people handle snakes.
  • Walk with solid, firm steps; snakes will feel the vibrations and probably leave.
  • Learn to identify Florida’s six venomous snakes.
  • Get medical help immediately if bitten
    • Stay calm.
    • Keep the bite lower than the heart.
    • Do not use ice.

Share the water with alligators and give them the right-of-way when paddling.

  • Swim during daylight hours only.
  • Do not take pets camping or paddling.
  • Never feed alligators; do not leave food scraps or garbage out.
  • On narrow waterways, allow the gator time to sink deep.
    • If it appears threatening, back away and leave the area.
    • Do not approach nests or young alligators – parents are near.

Additional Resources

Report marine or wildlife violations dial *FWC or #FWC (*392 or #392) or call toll-free
(888) 404-FWCC

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office: (850) 670-8500 or emergency 911

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce: (850) 653-9419 or visit their website  

NOAA Tide Predictions 

NOAA Weather Forecast