Dry Creek Sunday

by: Doug Alderson, Outdoor & Nature Expert

Paddling Dry Creek near Tallahassee, FloridaOur caravan of vehicles, topped with festive-colored canoes and kayaks, drove past several busy country churches on a recent Sunday morning. Cool temperatures and clear skies made it a near perfect day for an outing, and southern Jackson County near Marianna was a much anticipated destination.

We turned down unpaved Mystery Springs Road, a name that conjured up all kinds of pleasant images, and soon launched on Dry Creek. The privately-owned access remains open as long as users are respectful. 

Dry Creek is a misnomer. It is spring-fed and rarely, if ever, dry. The water is clear, cool, and sacred feeling.

After passing a large spring known as Black Hole, one fed by other nearby springs, we soon pushed through a thick stand of bulrushes. Various branches of the creek then merged together to form a watery tunnel beneath arching cypress, gum, maple and other trees. 

The winged angels of birds sang as we floated for miles on a ribbon of liquid glass over a pure sand bottom. The sermon on this day was in the symbolism, the beauty and purity, the silence. Move through life with little worry. Live simply. Appreciate beauty and companionship. Commune with Creator. Lilies of the field had been transformed into brilliant red cardinal flowers blooming along moving water. A parable for the ages.

By early afternoon, we came to the State Road 73 Bridge, our destination. I felt refreshed, innocent and child-like. Eternal.

Sunday revival on Dry Creek.

The best way to explore Dry Creek is to hook onto a scheduled trip with the Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club. Membership is a whopping $5 per year. Visit their website for more information.


Doug Alderson. Outdoor & Nature Expert from Tallahassee, FL Author:

Doug Alderson

Outdoor & Nature Expert


Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth (Quest Books 2007), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, Mother Earth News and Shaman's Drum. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.

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