Paddle along the scenic beauty of Blackwater River on more than 49 miles of Northwest Florida’s primordial forests and riverside banks. A guide trip from Adventures Unlimited highlights paddling trips that are suitable for all levels.
The river flows 49 miles in Florida, but the most popular section to paddle is the Blackwater River Canoe Trail, which is 31 miles long. Many people break up the paddle into segments to paddle point-to-point.
Destination Distance From Downtown
2 of 5 diamonds
The river is suitable for beginner and intermediate paddlers, but the upper portion of the river is more difficult than the lower portion.
Time To Complete
Most access points are between 2 and 4 miles apart, so its easy to break up a paddle into half or full-day segments
In the summer, the Blackwater River Canoe Trail tends to be congested with tubers and day trippers, so opt to paddle in mornings or in the off-season.
Pets are allowed on the river.
Most parking at put-in or take-outs are free but if you park at Blackwater River State Park, there is a $4 parking fee.
The Blackwater River is one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the country, and 49 miles of its 58-mile distance flow through Northwest Florida. The river meanders through Blackwater River State Forest, a pristine designated forest that is flush with thick forest. Sunlight filters through towering pines and cedar trees, speckling the water with much-welcomed shade. The river is named after its coffee-colored water, that are rich with tannins from the surrounding trees. The winding river passes by 190,000 acres of untouched nature including high bluff sides and a variety of floara and fauna. Ample sandbars along the way make for a great resting point or picnic spot. The river is suitable for beginner and intermediate paddlers, but the upper portion of the river is more difficult than the lower portion.
What Makes It Great
Blackwater River is so popular for paddling that a 31-mile section was designated as the Blackwater River Canoe Trail, from Kennedy Bridge near Munson to Deaton Bridge in Blackwater River State Park. Among the six access points, the most popular are at Access #3- Cottage Bridge Park, Access #4 at Bryant Bridge, and the take-out at Access #6 at Blackwater River State Park.
Adventures Unlimited is well versed in paddling the Blackwater River, as the founders have been on the river since the early 1970s. Their location is just 12 miles from Blackwater River State Park. Wildlife and coastal forests can be observed as you paddle along the last two miles of the Blackwater River Canoe Trail.
Register for Adventures Unlimited’s Overnight Blackwater River Paddle Trip and explore the undeveloped banks of the river. Nature lovers can spot an abundance of wildlife such as deer, white ibis, ducks and turtle. Trillium, azaleas, magnolias, tupelo trees and palmetto pines are among the horticulture found along Blackwater River. At night, you will camp on the banks or, if water levels are low, on the river’s sandbars. Because of its location, night skies are dark and perfect for stargazing.
Who is Going to Love It
Outdoor enthusiasts what want to spend a few days off the grid will find that between the Adventures Unlimited paddling trips and their Outdoor Center’s amenities, its an unparalleled experience in nature. Opt for an overnight paddle where you’ll sleep under the stars on Blackwater River’s banks or to stay at the Outdoor Center. One of the quirkiest accommodations is Katie’s Caboose, a refurbished caboose equipped with both a full-sized bed and single trundle bed.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
In the summer, the Blackwater River Canoe Trail tends to be congested with tubers and day trippers, so opt to paddle in mornings or on the upper portion of the river. There are six different access points to put-in or take-out. Check stream flow prior to paddling at www.adventuresunlimited.com/northwest-florida-river-information. Pets are allowed on the river. No coolers or glass. The Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center is located at 8974 Tomahawk Landing in Milton, Florida. To book your trip with Adventures Unlimited, call 850-623-6197 or book online at www.adventuresunlimited.com.