Turkey Creek paddle full of beautiful surprises
Located on Eglin AFB Reservation, just off of SR 85, the Turkey Creek paddle is approximately 9 miles long. Swift and clear, the first two thirds of the paddle are tight, as the creek is only about 25 ft. wide, full of logs and sandy, shallow bottoms. Trees hang over the water, providing good shade and cool water for the journey.
About 5 miles into the paddle, Turkey Creek joins with Juniper Creek where it widens, and eventually empties into Boggy Bayou in Valparaiso, just west of Niceville.
This paddle will bring also bring you under a few bridges and a double tunnel that at one time supported railway tracks. There is a bit of a rapid as the creek forces into the narrow tunnels, providing a fun place to stop, get out and float through.
Before you get to Boggy Bayou, you will pass through the Turkey Creek Recreation area. There are several swimming spots used by locals in this area cooling off on a warm day.
Much fun... be prepared to pack a lunch and be ready for lots of twists and turns on this beauty of a paddle.
Paddling Turkey Creek requires a permit from Eglin AFB. You can acquire one by calling the Jackson Guard Natural Resources Facility at (850) 882-4164 or (850) 882-4165.
The put in is located on Eglin Reservation 5 miles north of Hwy. 20, in Niceville off SR 85.
I-10 Crestview Exit 56 Hwy 85 South 15 mi. Turn right 0.2 mi before 85-123 Y [N30 34.102 W86 31.773]. AFB 232 0.5 mi Canoe Launch bridge [N30 33.708 W86 32.178]. Continue 1.5 mi. Turn right AFB 233 1.5 mi to Hippie Hole bridge [N30 34.870 W86 34.473].
A good take out is on Boggy Bayou in Valpariaso at a small public park next to the cement plant on Hwy 20.