Econlockhatchee River Corridor – Hiking, Kayaking and Boating

The Econlockhatchee River starts down below RT528 on private land. Much like the St. John’s River that it feeds into just below RT 46, The Econlockhatchee also flows south to north. I have been fortunate to be able to hike major parts of it, kayak a small section and powerboat yet another section. Your ability to enjoy each of those activities depends on the height of the river. In order to do any good kayaking or boating, the river must be at a reasonable level. To the contrary, the area must be pretty dry and the river reasonably low to enjoy a day of hiking. The river is a beautiful place to visit. Some sections reside in a State Forest, with the surrounding area pleasantly remaining unoccupied land. Other sections are bordered by major housing developments; but because they have been kept back in most cases, you are awarded the serenity of being alone in the woods. The area provides many scenic places to visit, the vastness of the cypress trees, and their artistic knees alone are worth your time. As I mentioned, plan to hike around the river during dry times and kayak the river during wet times. If you are into GEOCaching, there are a number of caches to be found all along the river, with the highest concentration within the Little Big Econ State Forest.

I have hiked the river area in four different sections.
From RT528 to RT50
• This section can be explored by entering the Hal Scott Preserve (Entrance: N28 29.169 W81 05.823). It is a vigorous hike down to the river from the parking area, where you have the option to venture either up or down the river. There are a couple of bridges which can be used to cross the river if it is high. I have been down by the river when it wasn’t too high and you could find a log to use as a makeshift bridge to cross. Many sections are tough to access; unless there has been a recent burn you may find the palmettos can be quite thick. [See individual write up on Hal Scott Preserve for more extensive details of that area.]
• I have only ventured half way up to RT50, but I assume you could walk along the river the remainder of the way.
From RT50 to RT419
• There are a number of places you can enter to get to the river around here. Once into the river corridor you can walk along the river right up to RT419. Some areas are marked “private”, and it is not apparent who is the proprietor of this land area along the river.
• You can enter from right around RT50 and work your way north. I have never done this, but I understand it is possible for kayakers.
• You can enter from the Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area (Entrance: N28 35.262 W81 09.347). This conservation area borders a fair section of the river; you can get down to the river from a number of spots. The road which runs under the power lines I would suspect is the easiest, but I have gotten to the river using a number of paths. [See individual write up on Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area for more extensive details of that area.]
• You can enter from the Econ River Wilderness Area (Entrance: N28 36.828 W81 10.444). This is a county park with trails leading right down to the river’s edge. Once at the river you can go North or South to explore. I have entered from this area a few times. See individual write up on Econ River Wilderness Area for more extensive details of this area.
From RT419 to Snow Hill Road
• There are a number of places you can enter the river in this section. Once you have gained access you can hike along the river.
• You can enter directly from RT419 an explore that section.
• You can enter through the Little Big Econ State Forest, there are a number of ways to get into this State Forest – here are two- Barr Street Entrance: N28 41.226 W81 09.569, or Snow Hill Road Entrance: N28 41.011 W81 07.038. This is a very pretty section of the river, many trails can be found on both sides of the river. There is an interesting bridge about halfway between the two roads which you can use to cross if you so wish. Being this is a popular area; you can expect to encounter a number of outdoor enthusiasts as yourselves.

You can kayak many parts of the river at different times. I have kayaked it around the Little Big Econ Forest, entering under RT419. I have seen that other people have kayaked from around RT50, going north up to RT419 and beyond. You also can put a kayak in at Snow Hill Road and kayak a very nice stretch north to RT46. In all cases you will have to have a plan for the end of the trip, going “up” the river could be impossible. Depending on the time of the year and how high the river is will govern what sections you can kayak. Areas below RT419 can require a lot of getting in and out because of the trees littering that section. The Little Big Econ State Forest Section above RT419 is fairly open, but shallow during the dry season. The section from Snow Hill Road to RT46 is normally pretty high and easy to boat. I have used a small powerboat in the section above Snow Hill Road. I’m sure that at different times of the year, the river would be fun to canoe.

I encourage you to set aside some time to explore at least one section of this river. It is a beautiful place to spend all or part of the day. As I wandered around, I couldn’t help but feel that civilization wanted to claim this river area to produce more homes. If you look closely you can see where man has already started to destroy sections with pollution. There is no way I would consider eating a fish which managed to survive in that river, I guarantee you.

Some GPS Locations –
• Hal Scott Preserve Entrance – N28 29.169 W81 05.823
• Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area Entrance – N28 35.262 W81 09.347
• Econ River Wilderness Area Entrance – N28 36.828 W81 10.444
• Little Big Econ State Forest (Barr St) Entrance – N28 41.226 W81 09.569
• Little Big Econ State Forest (Snow Hill Rd) Entrance – N28 41.011 W81 07.038

Map of Econlockhatchee River Corridor (click to enlarge)

Here are some external Links you might be interested in –
You can see other pictures of the areas at (click on to use)–
Hal Scott Preserve
Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area
Econ River Wilderness Area
Little Big Econ State Forest
Econlockhatchee River Area

Some of my trips can be viewed here (click on to use) -
Hal Scott Preserve
Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area
Econ River Wilderness Area
Little Econ River Hike / from Barr St to Lockwood Rd
Econ River Kayaking - Snowhill Rd to RT46

Some Pictures (click to enlarge) -

River View -

Bridge Over River In Hal Scott -
River View -
River View -
Powerline Entrance From Econlockhatchee Sandhill Conservation Area -
River View -

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