Dry Creek, located in Jackson County, is a conundrum among local paddlers. This shallow, pristine creek is virtually the golden ring held just out of reach because the current put-in location for the creek is located on private property which displays a sign that reads, “Keep Area Clear Or It Will Be Closed.” Were that access to be removed, paddlers would have to paddle almost 5 miles upstream from the take-out located on Hwy 73. For that reason alone I won’t divulge the exact put-in location, but will recommend that interested paddlers contact and arrange to travel with local paddling groups that have obtained permission from the land owners.
The launch site is in a mostly wooded area along a dirt road. Once on the water paddlers actually paddle what appears to be upstream to one of the local springs, Black Hole, that feeds the creek and then make their way through a narrow bull rush trail to the main waterway. Most paddlers feel that it is easier to pull their craft along using the reeds rather than attempt to actually paddle this short section.
Upon exiting the bull rush, this clear and secluded creek opens up and is devoid of any houses or structures until just before the take-out. Dry creek meanders slowly through a tupelo and cedar woodland affording paddlers unspoiled views of native plants and wildlife. Animals spotted on a recent trip included White Ibis and several White-tailed deer. Rumors tell of a moderate-sized alligator as well but it wasn’t seen on this excursion.
Mild temps and clear skies gave this 3 hour float trip a decidedly relaxing feel. Fall wild flowers were in bloom along the banks seemingly begging to be photographed. With such beauty at hand it’s sad to think that most people have never experienced this creek and sadder still to think that access to it may one day vanish, further proof that good stewardship of Florida’s waterways is imperative in order for future generations to be able to enjoy what we take for granted.
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