Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System
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.
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.
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.
- Visit FWC's Living With Snakes page before your trip.
- 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.
Report marine or wildlife violations dial *FWC or #FWC (*392 or #392) or call toll-free
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office: (850) 670-8500 or emergency 911