Located to the east of Pensacola, Florida in Santa Rosa county is a beautiful and pristine creek named Boiling Creek. There’s a reason Boiling Creek has endured and flourished so well; the entire length of the creek is located solely on the Eglin AFB Reservation. In order to gain access to this remote creek, visitors must obtain a low cost recreation pass which is available from the Jackson Guard Natural Resources Facility located at 107 Highway 85 N in Niceville. Detailed range maps are provided with the recreation pass.
Paddling on Boiling Creek
Boiling Creek is clear, sand bottom creek relatively free of any fallen or submerged trees or logs that often make some paddling trips difficult. Boiling Creek, which gets its name from several underground springs beneath it, is a wide and gently curving creek with a slow, easy current. The clarity of the water often gives the illusion that it is much shallower than it appears. In places the creek might be well over nine feet deep.
Clear water is not the only thing that lends Boiling Creek its reputation as a favorite among local paddlers. white-top pitcher plants, water lilies, spatterdock and other beautiful plants line both sides of the bank as the creek meanders on its journey toward the Yellow River. Many paddlers compare a float trip on Boiling Creek to paddling in an aquarium.
Wildlife flourishes on the creek due to the lack of human encroachment. Kayakers and canoeists may get a chance to see an elusive river otter as it glides effortlessly through the creek, as well as numerous basking turtles. A number of waterfowl frequent the area including osprey, ibis, heron, and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
As with most of Florida there is always a chance that an alligator might be spotted basking along the banks, but for the most part these shy creatures will slide into the water ahead of an approaching canoe or kayak and then disappear. If an alligator does make an appearance treat it with respect and give it a wide berth.
Put-in and Take-out Locations along Boiling Creek
In order to reach Boiling Creek, from Highway 87 take RR 211 to the put-in at a one lane bridge that crosses over the creek. Leave a shuttle vehicle at the take-out on the Yellow River bridge on Highway 87. Total length of the trip is about 6.1 miles. There are no sandbars or pullovers along Boiling Creek until right before it merges with the Yellow River.
When planning a trip to Florida’s Emerald Coast, don’t forget to check out nearby Blackwater River to the north and Turkey Creek and Econfina Creek to the east. These are some of the best paddling trips along the panhandle and should not be missed.
Jackson Guard 850-882-4164
*A special note concerning having pets on the Eglin Reservation. Eglin Security will issue tickets for having pets in a recreational swimming area, so please keep this in mind before bringing the family pet along on an outing.
This article is copyrighted by Beverly Hill