Before the weather starts to get too hot, we want to try to take advantage of some kayaking locations we have yet to try. Today was the Little Econ River, from SR 419 to Snowhill Rd.
From the map, this seems like a pretty reasonable run. Maybe eight to nine miles, but we failed to truly comprehend that this distance in a winding river, feels much longer than a more “flowing” river, like the Sante Fe.
The put it at SR 419 is woefully lacking in the parking department. With only five or six spots total, ensure you get there early.
We unloaded the kayaks, then Paul and I moved my van to the take out point at Snowhill Rd. When we got back the girls had the kayaks down by the river and ready to go.
After Jennifer fell in the mud and ruined her shoes, we shoved off. Within less than a quarter mile, we left the sounds of civilization and were well on our way into the Little Big Econ State Forest.
The river is 20-30 yards wide in most areas, and deep enough so that no portaging was required. There was quite a bit of deadfall in the water, but all were easily paddled around or under.
Not quite planning correctly, we all neglected to put on sunscreen. With most of the river exposed to sunlight, our legs suffered. While there was some of the river you could paddle in shade, most of the time we were in full sun. Maybe next time, we will plan for an earlier or later shove off, to avoid the noonday sun.
Because no motors are allowed and most of this section of the river is in the state forest, it can be quite desolate. We ran into four or five other groups of paddlers and saw a few people hiking the Florida Trail, but beyond that no one, until we got closer to the end. Which was quite nice.
We stopped for lunch, near where the Florida Trail, from Barr St. Trailhead rejoins the river (28.684889,-81.152972). Our picnic area overlooked the horseshoe curve of the river. Next time, we are packing our hammocks.
After passing under the Florida Trail bridge, we had a new form of wildlife to look at; alligators…quite large ones. All in all, we probably saw between eight to twelve gators, between six and eleven foot. The eleven footer, made quite a stir about 40 feet from our kayaks. April loved this part, by the way.
We finally reached the Snowhill Rd. takeout about five hours after we started. Our arms were tired and our legs and burnt.
All in all, it was a great kayak day trip. Being so close to home, makes this one we will likely do again.