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Governors Creek in Florida

by kayakbob61

Trip Overview

Governors Creek is a small tributary to the St. Johns River located in Green Cove Springs. Easy access is available at the Governors Creek public boat ramp on State Road 17 (Orange Avenue) on the north end of town. Facilities are minimal but there is no fee. There is a small sandy-bottomed launch area next to the boat ramp and a nice grassy spot to unload your equipment.

This is fairly short paddle, about two miles in and back out again. A typical trip in and out for me usually lasts about two hours. This makes it great for a relaxing evening trip after work or a quick trip when you�re short on time. The water is slow moving, although tidal flow can make a difference in direction and depth. You�ll also want to check the wind direction as a strong headwind can add a lot of effort to your trip out.

Once in the water, head west under the bridge and the railroad trestle. This quickly turns into fairly narrow and winding path. Once past a few private docks you�ll be hard pressed to remember that you�re only a stone�s throw from civilization. You�ll see plenty of birds and waterfowl including egrets, herons, and ospreys. Turtles are plentiful and you�ll see mullet jumping and an occasional garfish roiling the surface.

This waterway is small enough to discourage personal watercraft. Other than an occasional fisherman looking for shiners, you�ll have the place to yourself. You�ll paddle alongside stately cypress trees and under overhanging branches festooned with Spanish moss. In shallow water and close in to shore you�ll want to keep an eye out for submerged branches and logs. There are quite a few little inlets and swampy areas that beg to be explored (high tide makes this a little easier). Don�t worry, there�s only one way in and out.

About two miles in (that�s my best guess based on area maps) you�ll come to some downed tree branches that completely block the waterway. This is my normal turnaround point, although some day further access might be possible.

There is one spot where a public park backs up to the creek. You can step out of your boat here if needed but I can�t vouch for the facilities (you can�t see them from the water). Unfortunately, just like most other places, you�ll see an occasional sign of civilization... litter. I usually try to pick up a few pieces on the way out and drop them in the trash can at the boat ramp.

As with any other backwater paddle, take plenty of water, use a good bug spray, and let someone know your float plan. Don�t linger too late as it gets dark quickly among the overhanging trees. Personally, I haven�t seen any alligators in here, but I�m always watching... if you know what I mean.

Accommodations:

Concrete boat ramp, with an adjacent sandy area. Port-a-Jon. There is a convenience store next door and a grocery store in the plaza across the street.

Fees:

No fees

Directions:

Governors Creek boat ramp is on State Road 17, Orange Avenue. Just on the north end of Green Cove Springs.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip