Boiling Creek north of Navarre, is without a doubt, my all-time favorite creek along the Florida panhandle. This peaceful, pristine creek is located on the Eglin reservation, accessible via Range Road 211, and flows westward into the Yellow River. Although the creek isn’t very long, only about two and a half miles before it merges with the Yellow, the outstanding natural views make it well worth the trip, provided you have an Eglin Range pass of course.
This morning’s trip debuted with a new take-out location at the end of Range Road 787 and a standup paddle board addition to our crew of five. The RR 787 take-out was chosen to avoid the flooded Yellow River and upon arriving at the swollen launch site this proved to be a wise choice on our part. A word of caution about RR 787; a 4WD vehicle is highly recommended. We plowed through at least three mud holes capable of swallowing a small car.
After dropping off the shuttle we backtracked and headed up Range Road 211 to our put-in spot. Only one truck was in the small parking area prior to our arrival so we knew we were off to a good start and wouldn’t run into very many people. We unloaded our gear, parked the trucks and were on the water in record time.
Right away the tranquility and natural beauty of Boiling Creek transports you to a magical place. Clear spring-fed water makes the aquatic plants dance beneath the surface as fish dart in an out of this enchanted underwater forest. Native pitcher plants, bog buttons and sundews line the bank while water lilies and spatterdock hug the banks. Once we’ve spotted an otter that swam beneath our kayaks, but sadly not today.
We drifted along slowly, letting the current do the hard work and push us along. This gave us plenty of opportunity to take in the sights such as the three active osprey nests that we’ve managed to locate by paddling up some of the side passages. A few turtles graced us with an appearance and one startled green anole that nimbly scampered up a branch.
The big excitement of the day was an acrobatic spider that leaped onto the standup paddle board and raced up the paddler’s leg promptly causing him to capsize. I wouldn’t normally recommend a paddle board on a creek, but Boiling Creek has clear water and no submerged logs worth mentioning. After that bit of excitement it was an easy float to the take-out just in time for lunch. All-in-all it was a perfect day on the water.