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 Post subject: FL - St Mary's River
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:42 pm 
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:?: Anyone here done a trip on the St Mary's in North Florida? We are planning a 5 day,52 mile trip in October and was hoping to get some input.Would like to know about water levels,campsites,places to re-stock supplies along the way.Any input would be appreciated.Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Guess nobody's been on the St Mary's.Thought for sure somebody around Jacksonville had done this trip.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:06 am
Posts: 734
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Think the post you made on JKF and the responses were enough to discourage you from this trip? It's doable but not sure how enjoyable.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:38 pm
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Location: Roswell, GA - USA
I have paddled from St Marys to Cumberland Island and back and also to Cumberland from another park north of St Marys (several trips many years ago). Cumberland Island is very nice but you have to deal with the national park service rules on camping and permits.

One thing you have to consider is tide flows, they are very fast on the St Marys river. Near the town of St Marys the tide flow can exceed 8mph, impossible to paddle against. I have never been on the river upstream but the whole sound area is the tidal marsh grass stuff with limited beaching ability.

Again I have limited experience but there are some kayak outfitters on that part of the coast that might be able to help.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:36 pm 
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We'll be putting in at SR121 and our takeout is Ralph E. Simmons State Forest.We should be well enough upstream to not have any tidal current to deal with.As for the bantering on the JKS forum,not sure that dude is for real.I think he's yankin' my chain.I'm all in for the trip.Will let you all know how it turns out.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Location: Roswell, GA - USA
yakkinbob wrote:
We'll be putting in at SR121 and our takeout is Ralph E. Simmons State Forest.We should be well enough upstream to not have any tidal current to deal with.As for the bantering on the JKS forum,not sure that dude is for real.I think he's yankin' my chain.I'm all in for the trip.Will let you all know how it turns out.

That is plenty up-river from the tidal zone, sorry for the above post concerning the tides. From Google Earth view of your route it looks like fun. That is essentially the Okefenokee draining to the ocean so it looks like blackwater with sand bottom and lots of sandbars to stop/camp on. I have paddled a similar looking river in the panhandle of Fla called the Blackwater river. Pay attention to private property signs.

Your biggest obstacle might be the bugs, be prepared. I like paddling FL rivers in the late fall or winter.

Give a trip report when you are done :D


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Finally,someone had something positive about this trip.Thank you.Bugs are always a problem here in Florida.Being used to that,I just want some deep water for paddling and some good sites to camp.A previous trip on the Peace river had us literally dragging our boats over rocks in ankle deep water.Made for a rough trip.Will let you know how this turns out.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:58 am
Posts: 8
Location: Levy County, Florida
Quote:
Will let you know how this turns out.


Yakkin, I will be very interested in your report. We just got an Oasis and made our maiden voyage at Cedar Key (in conjunction with our 40th). The trip you are planning sounds like something we would be interested in.

Here's a report of our Cedar Key adventure, if you are interested:

http://libcfl.org/gregscv/anniversary/

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:07 am 
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Gettin close to launch time for the St.Mary's trip.Will be leaving Wednesday afternoon and be on the water Thursday.Despite all the bad reviews I got about this river on another forum,turned out it was one of the group just messin with me.I will post how it went.Also interested in your Cedar Key trip.I was just reading on the Jax kayak forum about a group doing a dinner and fishing to raise money for a charity.Sounds like a good time,just falls at the same time as our trip.Would like to participate next time.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:39 am 
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Location: Levy County, Florida
Yakkin Bob,

Cedar Key trip was great, just need to be aware of tides. We have since made a trip up the Wacassassa and Wekiva rivers . . . a nice day trip. We made it a couple of miles up the Wacassassa from the Levy county boat ramp before we had to turn back. We could have gotten a bit further on, but my wife was commenting: "This is why women live longer than men," so I thought it was time to turn around. The Wekiva was even more navigable.

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:05 am 
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Just got back from our St. Mary's River trip.Sorry to say,it was hell.We launched from Old Boy Scout camp as the county blocked off the SR121 area.The first few days were difficult.Lots of downed trees,strong current,several portages.Out of the 7 of us,5 went into the water.Real easy to get hung up in the limbs,get sideways,and the current does the rest.1 guy lost his mirage drive when he dumped(no leash).Another lost his paddle at the same spot(again,no leash).Still another lost a paddle but was in an Outback.A 3rd lost his stakeout pole.One man slipped and fell on a root during one of the portages,so he was in severe pain for the rest of the trip.I got hung up on a tree limb and had to bail out.Had some moments of doubt that I would recover from that one.Still,I managed to claw my way around the boat to get it freed and get back in only to see more trees coming at me.After an intense 1/2 mile or so I found a spot to pull over and rest while the rest of the group caught up.
I've done several other river trips and though there were some difficult parts,none were actually life threatening.I would not paddle this part of the St Mary's again.All though we did a lot of research beforehand,the river changes,The recent storms raised the water level considerably and fell all the trees.Best to get advice from someone who has done the trip recently.Other than being somewhat rattled,everyone came through to paddle another day.Praise God !


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:58 am
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Location: Levy County, Florida
Yakkin,

Thank you for the report. Sorry to hear that you had such a difficult trip.

I think it would be best not to start down the St. Mary's with my lovely bride.

Having recently celebrated our 40th anniversary, I'm still aspiring for 41.

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:33 am 
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I'm with you on that one Cracker.I'm going to get back into my boat this weekend.Time to get over it and back to what I love.We'll be going to the Wekiva River out towards Orlando.More of a peaceful day trip.My wife will be in her new Pro Angler 14 for only the 2nd time.Thinking about selling my Native and joining the Hobie family in an Outback.As tough as the St. Mary's was,the Hobie guys had no problem pedaling upstream.Plus they were a lot more maneuverable around the trees.I was in a Malibu Stealth14.Fully loaded there was no way I was going anywhere but Downstream.Plus it's a bear to paddle with that much weight.
We've been married 38 years,so not too far behind you.I got a real lecture for my "Near Death" experience.I'll be better prepared next trip,plus now that I've had to re-enter in deep water,and hopefully there won't be a next time,it should be a little easier.Enjoy your trip,be safe.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:39 am 
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Florida Cracker wrote:
Quote:
Will let you know how this turns out.


Yakkin, I will be very interested in your report. We just got an Oasis and made our maiden voyage at Cedar Key (in conjunction with our 40th). The trip you are planning sounds like something we would be interested in.

Here's a report of our Cedar Key adventure, if you are interested:

http://libcfl.org/gregscv/anniversary/

Greg

Looked like a great time.Did you guys launch at the beach area? We had put in at some airboat ramp and got stuck in a lot of shallow water.


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 Post subject: Re: St Mary's River
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:59 am
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I've never paddled the St Mary's Stream myself, but check with Kayak Amelia. They do many trips in Northern areas of Florida, such as the St Mary's Cumberland Isle place. Excellent supplier. Very helpful entrepreneurs and team.

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