Paddle the Ochlockonee in March

Al and Betsy Force and their dog Smokey of New Port Richey

Al and Betsy Force of New Port Richey and their dog Smokey set out through morning fog during last year’s Ochlockonee adventure

Jill Lindgard Special to the Times
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM.

Next month, Paddle Florida is hosting a seven-day trip down the Ochlockonee River for paddlers of all ages.

Paddle Florida, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation organized to promote and support paddling in Florida, as well as creating paddling events, promoting water conservation, wildlife preservation, and the restoration of springs and protection of waterways in Florida.

From March 15 to 21, Paddle Florida will launch its fourth trip down the Ochlockonee and its 26th adventure for paddlers.

The trip begins at Ed and Bernice’s Fish Camp just below the Lake Talquin Dam. The entire route is 76 miles and averages 15 miles a day with stops at Drake Landing, Whitehead Lake Landing, Revell Landing, Log Cabin Campsite, Womack Creek and more.

Meals catered by local providers are available for an additional fee and campers will enjoy an evening program every night before turning in.

Organizers advise travelers to pack a dry bag of clothing and rain gear but say they have never had to cancel a trip due to weather during their six years of organizing boating expeditions.

In a review of last year’s Ochlocknee trip, Mim Duncan wrote the following, “Paddle Florida trips are well organized and it's so convenient to have our luggage and camping gear carried to each campsite rather than having to haul it in our kayaks. Meals are provided by caterers, so the trips are more relaxing than non-assisted trips. Paddle Florida 's leadership works hard to make our trips easier. Many of us have formed friendships through these experiences and have paddled numerous trips with this group. It's always a joy to reconnect with established friends and to meet new ones.”

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