57 miles of planned boat ramp improvements span from Morrison Springs to Black Creek near the Bay
Walton County, Northwest Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Greenways and Trails are working together to provide a paddling trail on the Choctawhatchee River.
The 57-mile trail plan spans from Morrison Springs to the opening of Black Creek near the Choctawhatchee Bay. ::MAP::
The project includes rehabilitation and/or construction of five trail head locations starting at Morrison Springs, River Road Landing (Comander’s Landing), Dead River Landing, Cowford Landing, and yet to be developed Black Creek Landing off of Pitts Bayshore Drive.
The plan includes improvements to the current boat ramps and installation of canoe/kayak racks, multi-use ramps, picnic pavilions and ADA enhancements. Overnight camping facilities are planned for some locations.
Lodging is available just south of Cowford Landing at the Choctaw Lodge Bed and Breakfast Retreat (850) 835-1794 and just north of the Black Creek Landing at Live Oak Landing RV & Cottage Resort (877) 436-5063.
Each leg of the trail varies in length: Morrison Springs to River Road Landing 17 miles; River Road to Dead River Landing 9 miles, Dead River Landing to Cowford Landing 11 miles, Cowford Landing to Black Creek Landing 20 miles.
Highlights of the paddling trail include access to springs, diving, fishing, wildlife viewing and access to the Florida Trail near Cowford Landing. Enhancements to the landings will also provide opportunities for riverbank fishing.
Funding for the project with come from a $200,000 grant from the Florida Greenways and Trails with matching $50,000 funding/construction materials from Northwest Florida Water Management, and $50,000 from Walton County. Final approval of the grant from Greenways and Trails is expected in August.
Northwest Florida Water Management District owns 61,000 acres of land along the Choctawhatchee River and will be working with Walton County in providing the amenities along the river.