Coldwater Creek's 7 mile trip through Adventures Unlimited is an awesome day trip. I have made this trip with a group of friends numerous times. Most rent kayaks but some use the available canoes and tubes. I prefer the kayaks. The trip is easy, even if you don't swim well. You can steady-paddle and be done in a couple of hours. We stretch it out to a whole day, stopping often and enjoying ourselves!
The water is rather tannic, with all of the cedar trees lining the creek but has a sand/gravel bottom. Numerous obstacles may show up, depending on season -- all would be due to fallen limbs. There are many submerged cypress and cedar stumps in the creek -- the reason I prefer the kayaks. However, canoes manage these easily, also. Tubing, I wouldn't recommend. In my numerous visits, I have seen several people "walking out" when their tube bursts from a submerged stump. However, the water is normally about 4 ft deep at it's deepest. About 2/3 of the way down the 7 mile trip, there is a huge sandbar with a rope swing -- the deepest part and a great place to stop, have fun, picnic, etc. I am a very experienced kayaker but we have taken people who cannot swim on this trip -- it is that easy.
Now, all of the details gone, this trip is so much fun!! About every 100 yards, there is a sandbar on one side or the other. The staff at Adventures Unlimited are wonderful and the "bus driver" who takes us up creek has become a part of our adventure. Our group is "Seahorses Fo' Evah!!" so, if you ever hear that being called on the creek, you'll know we're there!
I would make one sort of negative comment but just something to keep in mind. Adventures Unlimited is rather unorganized when you're coordinating a group trip. While you can and do receive confirmations, on the day you arrive, there always seems to be confusion on reservations. Always has been straightened out promptly by staff but they need a better system. We name our group, so it should be easy. Just be sure to follow up by telephone just prior to arriving to ensure that everyone you're expecting is accounted for on their list.
Our first trip, we did just the day trip - an easy paddle of 7 miles, even for inexperienced paddlers. My suggestion is wear plenty of sunscreen. I always carry an extra trash bag and pick up litter where those who are not caring about our environment may leave a bottle or can. In general, though, the trip is clean.
Our following trip, there were 33 of us (I have a BIG family). We camped overnight in Adventures Unlimited's campgrounds. Had a wonderful time. The bath house is neat and clean and the only complaint I had was there were only 220 connections at campsites (had to take coffeepot to the bath house to make coffee). There is a "ranger" on duty 24/7 so we felt very safe.
The next trip, we rented The Bunkhouse -- just what it sounds like -- sleeps up to 26 in 3-high bunkbeds. The sleeping area is air conditioned but the common "living" area and kitchen, with a half-bath is not, though we were totally comfortable with the ceiling fan. Outside the bunkhouse is a huge grill for our use, also.
Adventures Unlimited also offers a zipline though I haven't tried it. You can see it about 3/4ths of the way through the creek trip and it is not very impressive to me. However, if you're a first-timer for ziplining, this may be just what you want!
Accomodations are great -- you can stay over in primitive campground up to a nice cabin -- depends on how much you want to spend. The bath house for all primitive camping and The Bunkhouse and smaller cabins is neat, clean, bright, well maintained. Never, ever had a complaint about it! There is a small playground just outside the bath house, with a jungle gym and swings.
1 and 2-seater sit on top kayaks, canoes, tubes. I think one or two people used sit-in kayaks on one of the trips. Is nice, if you're a big group like us, to have at least one or 2 canoes, as they can carry gear easier.
Fees for all types of boats. Fees for camping/cabins, depending on what you want. ALL are reasonable. Only thing I would suggest to them is to offer a 2-day kayak deal for those who are staying overnight. As it stands, you pay full price for each day -- should get a cut if you're staying in a cabin or campgrounds.
www.adventuresunlimited.com has the best directions.
Milton is just northeast of Pensacola, FL. Adventures Unlimited is north of Milton.