Places to Paddle tm
Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting

 

 

Aucilla River Rapids near Lamont FL USA
By reading further, you agree to our Terms of Use

Copyright 2006 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Leslie Dunn-Scovill fun_guidebook@yahoo.com Central Florida Adventure Club with some photos by Craig Fugate and Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 3/2006
  • Location: just south of Lamont, Florida USA
  • Class: 2; Moderately difficult second biggest rapid in Florida
  • Distance Paddled: 13 miles from US Route 27 to State Route 257
  • Water: fresh, clear and coffee-colored spring water
  • Wildlife: Owls, hawks, turtles, otters, egrets, cormorants
  • Special Regulations: none

Entry

  • Directions: From Tallahassee, go east on US 27. The bridge over the Aucilla is 1 mile past SR 257A. Put in is on the right (southwest) just before crossing the river. From the south or east of Florida, take US 27 west out of Perry, cross over the Aucilla River and make a U turn to the put in.
  • GPS: N 30 degrees 22.20’ W 83 degrees 48.15
  • Fee: None
  • Description: Facing east on US 27, parking lot and put in is on right side of bridge that crosses the Aucilla. Road leading to parking lot is narrow, bumpy and washed out. Allows for single file driving at a steep tilt. Parking lot easily fits ten cars/trucks. Put in is short distance from parking.
  • Parking: unpaved
  • Facilities: None
  • Handicap access: None

Put In at Typical Water Level

Exit

  • Directions: From Lamont, go south on SR 257A. The take out is at the bridge that crosses the Aucilla (7.5 miles SW of Lamont). Park on the southeast side of the bridge.
  • GPS: N 30 degrees 16.50’ W 83 degrees 51.50’
  • Fee: None
  • Description: Boat has to be dragged uphill over 50’ of mini-boulders during low water levels
  • Parking: Unpaved
  • Facilities: None
  • Handicap access: None

Exit on River Left at High Water Level

 

 

Where We Paddled and What We Saw

Strongly recommend experienced paddlers only. If a newbie attempted the Aucilla, at best they may decide to go with another sport. At worst, they could easily get stuck in a strainer at one of the white water areas, take on water and/or damage their boat. If that doesn't scare you off, for experienced paddlers, this is a ya-hooooo paddle.

The Aucilla River begins in Madison County, ends in Taylor County and can be done as either a 13 mile or 19 mile paddle. I'm no slowpoke and the 13 mile run took six hours. The Aucilla is a spring fed, approximately 40’ wide channel of fast flowing 3+ mph clear coffee-colored water.

The first six miles of the run, the river tubes through high banks of limestone rocks. Surrounding the river banks is a dense hardwood forest filled with gum swamp cypress, some maples and a live oak canopy.

If you enjoy a challenge, the Aucilla calls your name! The unfamiliar sound of the Class 3 rapids racing down terraced drops over rocky shoals in Florida ratchets up the pulse. Two of the whitewater areas are over two old rock dams; one, “Big Rapid,” distances 30’ over mini-boulders. Suggest scouting each white water area before attempting the shoot – the current is so strong that if you miss the pocket means paddling up against the strong current for a retry. Not impossible to do but strenuous.

I've gone both in spring and late fall – in the late fall trip the water level was too low and would have made for more rock climbing or portaging than paddling. Nice lunch spot about 1/3 way into paddle.

Limestone Banks at Low Water Level