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Turkey Creek (NW Panhandle) - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: November 2006
Nearest City: Niceville, FL
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: gurath

Description:

This is a fun ride down Turkey Creek. It starts out small but gets a little wider every time another creek joins in. The first time I went was in a kayak. That was easy. The water level was about average, but the creek is still fast moving and there is not too many straight stretches.

The reason I chose moderate/difficult for the "Difficulty" level, is because it is fast moving water (about 3-5 MPH not paddling) and it is a narrow creek with trees and branches overhanging and in the water that one can get caught in. Also, about half way down there is two culverts side by side the go under a road for 70 yards or so. The water level drops a foot or two depending on the creeks water level -- depends on rainfall, etc.

It is a fun time if you are up the challenge. Not for the first timers. Three road bridges that the creek goes under and a lot of small creeks and few larger creeks join up with Turkey as the trip goes on.

The last section of the trip is through Turkey Creek Park. There are swimming stops and docks for a rest. (More info at http://www.cityofniceville.org/turkey.html)

After the park, it is really shallow and empties into the bay. There is a good public access off to the right. This will take about four hours if you only stop twice. Or you can paddle out in the bay and over to Postal Point for the Military folks.

Take the family for an outing. Its become such a popular spot, you never know who you will run into!

Accommodations:

Niceville, FL Turkey Creek: http://www.cityofniceville.org/turkey.html
-Turkey Creek is located at 340 John Sims Parkway. Hwy 85/20.
-The pavilion is equipped with lights, picnic tables, grills, and a beautiful stone fireplace hearth. Many events have been held day and night at the pavilion. Birthday parties, office events, socials, team recognition ceremonies are all welcome. The pavilion works on a first come basis.
-There are soda vending machines and restrooms near the pavilion.
-Along the creek, swimmers have fun cooling off from the heat. Canoes, kayaks, and tubes are allowed. However, no gasoline engines.
-Security staff are on site to ensure a safe, fun environment for all to enjoy.

Fees:

Yes.

If you start upstream on Eglin Range you need a Range Pass. Call Jackson Guard for info, they are very helpful.
JACKSON GUARD NATURAL RESOURCES FACILITY
The Eglin Natural Resources Branch is commonly known as the Jackson Guard. The name comes from the days before Eglin when this area was the Choctawhatchee National Forest. Ranger stations were known as "guards". This particular one was called "Jackson" as a nod to the future President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, who kept prisoners here during the Seminole Indian Wars.

All Eglin recreation, hunting and fishing permits are sold at Jackson Guard. There are informational displays in the lobby and a small, deer pen outside. Jackson Guard is located in Niceville, on Highway 85 just north of Highway 20 next to the firetower.

Additional information may be obtained by calling Jackson Guard at 882-4164. Jackson Guard is closed on Sundays and Federal holidays.

Directions:

Start is north of Niceville, FL on Hwy 85. If going north on Hwy 85 just north of Hwy 123 and 85 split, turn left at the first available crossing to the dirt range road. (Permit Required for Eglin Range. Call Jackson Guard at 882-4164)

Finish up in at the public access off of N John Sims Parkway south of Hwy 85 turn off on the bay side of the road.

Resources:

Google Earth works for me.
When you buy a Range Pass, you may receive a map.


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