Fish and Paddle Florida’s Washington County

Home States Fish and Paddle Florida’s Washington County
Fish and Paddle Florida’s Washington County
WASHINGTON COUNTY, FLORIDA–The crystal clear springs and cool, flowing creeks of Washington County, Florida, are known as a special place for anglers and paddlers. Though just an hour’s drive north of the white sand beaches of Panama City, this is a different side of Northwest Florida. It’s real Florida, diverse and wild, with natural landscapes and beautiful waters surrounding small towns filled with charm and hospitality. It’s the perfect spot to get off the Interstate, away from the crowds and out on the water.
From tea-colored tributaries to crystal blue springs, the waterways of Washington County offer diversity, beauty and adventure for those who want to get out on the water and experience a part of Northwest Florida that many have not. And the super star here is the waterways, not fancy resorts or neon-clad attractions. This is where Floridians go to get away from it all.
Washington County boasts more than 16,000 acres of freshwater opportunities. Paddling and tubing are popular on Holmes Creek, Econfina Creek and the Choctawhatchee River. Holmes Creek is a favorite Northwest Florida run in the Paddle Florida guide. It, along with the lower Choctawhatchee River, flows through Washington County, offering clear-water paddling and spring-fed recreational opportunities. Nearby, the swift-flowing and remote Econfina Creek is a favorite of more experienced paddlers.
There are 29 boat ramps throughout Washington County, with an assortment of adjacent amenities. There are also equipment rental and livery services available, making exploring these waters even easier. On-site rental and shuttle services are convenient and sure to get paddlers to the very best spots on the water. Pick-up times can be scheduled to take advantage of opportunities to stop along the way for swimming, snorkeling and picnicking.
For those who want to add some excellent fishing to their time on the water, Washington County is known for it. Dozens of great fishing holes can be found along these waterways, as well as on the many other fresh water lakes and streams throughout the county. One popular option is the three-acre lake in Falling Waters State Park (1130 State Park Rd, Chipley, Florida 32428), popular with visitors for both swimming and fishing.
Paddlers can contact one of these local vendors who offer equipment, advice and hospitality, ensuring an enjoyable day on the water:
Where to stay
There are many lodging options conveniently located near I-10 in Washington County. These limited service properties provide convenient access to local restaurants and shopping and are just a short drive from the area’s beautiful waterways. Camping is also popular here. Both Falling Waters State Park (1130 State Park Road, Chipley, Florida 32428) and Pine Log State Forest (5583 Long Leaf Road, Ebro, Florida 32437) have full hook-up and primitive sites as well as group sites. Primitive sites are also available at Holmes Creek Canoe Livery (2899 Highway 79, Vernon, Florida 32462) and at select county-owned landings.
Where to eat
Washington County is filled with spots to get good home cooking, amazing barbecue and ethnic favorites, all in a casual atmosphere. Skins & Bubba’s BBQ (458 Main Street, Chipley, Florida 32428) is a favorite spot for barbecue and hometown hospitality. Cancun’s Mexican Grill (1511 Main Street, Chipley, Florida 32428) offers south of the border cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. Colonial Restaurant (686 5th Street, Chipley, Florida 32428) is a decades-old Southern style restaurant in downtown Chipley with a hearty buffet featuring all the favorites.
Heather Lopez, TMP, FEP
Visitor Washington County
P.O. Box 450
Chipley, FL 32428
(850) 638-6013