Econfina River Trail In Florida

Here is everything you need to know about the Econfina River Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Florida
  • Length: 16 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Florida Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Econfina River Trail is a significant historical landmark located in the Florida Panhandle. The trail follows the course of the Econfina River, which has played a crucial role in the region’s history for centuries. The river was named by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, with “Econfina” meaning “hidden waters” in Spanish. This name reflects the river’s unique characteristic of disappearing underground and reemerging further downstream.

During the 19th century, the Econfina River served as a vital transportation route for early settlers and traders. It provided a means of transportation for goods such as timber, turpentine, and agricultural products. The river’s navigability allowed for the establishment of small communities along its banks, fostering economic growth and development in the area.

The Econfina River Trail also holds historical significance due to its association with the Civil War. The river served as a natural barrier during the conflict, with both Union and Confederate forces utilizing its strategic advantages. The trail passes by several historical sites, including the remains of Confederate earthworks and fortifications. These remnants serve as a reminder of the region’s turbulent past and the impact of the Civil War on the local communities.

Today, the Econfina River Trail stands as a testament to the rich history of the Florida Panhandle. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s past, providing a glimpse into the lives of early settlers and the challenges they faced. The trail’s historical significance, combined with its natural beauty, makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Scott’s Landing: This is the main access point for the Econfina River Trail. It is located off County Road 14 and offers parking, restrooms, and a boat ramp.

2. Walsingham Bridge: This access point is located off County Road 14 and provides parking and a boat ramp. It is a popular spot for launching canoes and kayaks.

3. Pitt Spring: This access point is located off County Road 14 and offers parking, restrooms, and a boat ramp. It is known for its crystal-clear spring and is a great spot for swimming and snorkeling.

4. Williford Spring: This access point is located off County Road 14 and provides parking and a boat ramp. It is another popular spot for swimming and snorkeling in the clear spring waters.

5. Scott’s Road: This access point is located off County Road 14 and offers parking and a boat ramp. It is a convenient spot for launching canoes and kayaks.

6. Porter Lake: This access point is located off County Road 14 and provides parking and a boat ramp. It is a scenic spot with a small lake and is great for fishing and wildlife viewing.

7. Econfina River State Park: This access point is located off State Road 20 and offers parking, restrooms, and a boat ramp. It is the southernmost access point for the Econfina River Trail and provides access to the lower section of the river.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Econfina River Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Econfina River Taxi – River taxi service offering convenient transportation along the Econfina River Trail.
2. Econfina River Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from various points along the Econfina River Trail.
3. Econfina River Kayak Rentals – Kayak rental service allowing visitors to explore the Econfina River Trail at their own pace.
4. Econfina River Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for those who prefer to explore the Econfina River Trail on two wheels.
5. Econfina River Horseback Riding Tours – Guided horseback riding tours offering a unique way to experience the Econfina River Trail.
6. Econfina River Helicopter Tours – Scenic helicopter tours providing a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful Econfina River Trail.


The amenities available at the Econfina River Trail may vary, but typically include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas or parking lots near the trailhead where visitors can park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there may be designated camping sites along the Econfina River Trail where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There might be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy a meal or have a picnic with family and friends.

5. Hiking Trails: The Econfina River Trail itself is a hiking trail, providing opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings.

6. Fishing: If permitted, visitors may have the opportunity to fish along the Econfina River Trail. However, fishing regulations and licenses may apply.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The trail may offer opportunities for wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to observe and appreciate the local flora and fauna.

8. Interpretive Signage: There may be interpretive signage along the trail, providing information about the natural and cultural history of the area.

It is recommended to check with the local park or trail management for the most up-to-date information on the specific amenities available at the Econfina River Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Econfina River Resort – Riverside lodging with scenic views of the river.
2. Econfina River State Park Campground – Campsites with basic amenities near the trailhead.
3. Econfina Creek Canoe Livery – Offers canoe rentals and shuttle services for river exploration.
4. Econfina River Retreat – Cozy cabins nestled in a peaceful wooded area.
5. Econfina Springs Campground – Rustic campsites near the crystal-clear springs.
6. Econfina River RV Park – RV sites with full hookups and river access.
7. Econfina River Cabins – Quaint cabins with modern amenities and riverfront access.
8. Econfina River Resort Restaurant – On-site restaurant serving delicious meals with river views.
9. Econfina River General Store – Convenience store offering snacks, drinks, and basic supplies.
10. Econfina River Outfitters – Outdoor gear and equipment rental for river activities.
11. Econfina River Emergency Medical Services – Local medical services for emergencies along the trail.

Econfina River Trail Difficulty Notes

The Econfina River Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 12 miles and features diverse terrain, including sandy paths, rocky sections, and occasional steep inclines. While the trail is well-marked and maintained, hikers should be prepared for some challenging sections that require agility and endurance. The trail also includes several creek crossings, which can be slippery and require careful navigation. Overall, the Econfina River Trail provides a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those seeking a moderate level of difficulty in their outdoor adventures.

Features And Attractions

1. Econfina River State Park: The trail starts at the Econfina River State Park, which offers beautiful views of the river and surrounding nature. There are picnic areas, hiking trails, and a boat ramp.

2. Pitt Spring: Located along the trail, Pitt Spring is a natural landmark known for its crystal-clear waters. It is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking.

3. Gainer Springs: Another natural landmark along the trail, Gainer Springs is a series of freshwater springs that flow into the Econfina River. The springs create a stunning display of clear blue water and are great for swimming and kayaking.

4. Devil’s Hole: This unique geological feature is a sinkhole along the Econfina River Trail. It is a deep, dark pool of water surrounded by limestone walls. Devil’s Hole is a popular spot for diving and exploring.

5. The Old Spanish Trail: As you hike along the Econfina River Trail, you will come across sections of the historic Old Spanish Trail. This trail was used by Spanish explorers and traders in the 18th and 19th centuries.

6. Rock Landing: Rock Landing is a historical site along the trail that was once a bustling river port. It served as a trading post and transportation hub for goods and people traveling along the Econfina River.

7. Blue Springs: Blue Springs is a natural spring located near the Econfina River Trail. It is known for its vibrant blue water and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking.

8. Dead River: The Dead River is a scenic section of the Econfina River Trail that offers peaceful and serene views. It is a great spot for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.

9. Cypress Springs: Cypress Springs is a beautiful natural spring along the trail. It is surrounded by cypress trees and offers a tranquil setting for swimming, kayaking, and picnicking.

10. Bear Creek: Bear Creek is a tributary of the Econfina River that flows through a picturesque forested area. It is a great spot for canoeing, fishing, and observing wildlife.

These are just a few of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you can experience along the Econfina River Trail.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Econfina River Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping is permitted only in designated camping areas along the trail.
3. Open fires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grills.
4. Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors must pack out all trash and leave no trace.
5. Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
6. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state fishing regulations.
7. Swimming is permitted in designated areas only.
8. Motorized vehicles, including ATVs and motorcycles, are not allowed on the trail.
9. Bicycles are allowed on the trail but must yield to pedestrians.
10. Hiking and horseback riding are allowed on the trail.
11. The trail may have seasonal restrictions or closures due to weather conditions or maintenance.

Seasonal Information

The Econfina River Trail, located in Florida, offers a stunning natural experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the weather is pleasant with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (18-29 degrees Celsius). The trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque landscape. Fall is equally delightful, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius). The foliage starts to change colors, painting the trail with hues of red, orange, and yellow.

During these seasons, visitors can enjoy various activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking along the river. The trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding forests, crystal-clear springs, and diverse wildlife. It is an ideal time to explore the trail’s beauty and immerse oneself in nature.

However, it is important to note that the Econfina River Trail has seasonal closures during the summer months. This is primarily due to the hot and humid weather, as well as the increased presence of mosquitoes and other insects. The summer temperatures can soar above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), making it uncomfortable for outdoor activities. Additionally, the trail may experience occasional heavy rainfall, leading to flooding and unsafe conditions.

It is advisable to check with the local authorities or park management for the exact dates of seasonal closures and plan your visit accordingly. By visiting during the recommended times of the year, you can make the most of your experience on the Econfina River Trail and enjoy the natural wonders it has to offer.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Accessible Trail Entrance: A ramp or level pathway leading to the trailhead, allowing wheelchair users to enter the trail.
3. Wide and Paved Pathways: The trail features wide and smooth pathways suitable for wheelchair users, ensuring a comfortable and safe journey.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail provide resting spots for individuals with mobility challenges.
5. Accessible Restrooms: Restrooms equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
6. Signage with Braille: Trail signs include Braille text, enabling visually impaired individuals to navigate the trail independently.
7. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic spots with accessible tables and seating options for individuals with disabilities.
8. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Fishing Spots: Designated fishing areas with accessible features, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy fishing activities.
10. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trail are designed to be accessible, providing information to all visitors, including those with disabilities.

Safety Information

When visiting the Econfina River Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. The Florida heat can be intense, especially during the summer months.

2. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: Dress in lightweight, breathable clothing and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots. This will protect you from potential hazards on the trail.

3. Use insect repellent: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects that may be present in the area.

4. Be aware of wildlife: The Econfina River Trail is home to various wildlife species, including alligators, snakes, and spiders. Keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing or provoking them.

5. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. This will help prevent getting lost or encountering potentially dangerous situations.

6. Be cautious near water bodies: The Econfina River Trail features several water bodies, including the Econfina River itself. Be cautious when near the water, as currents can be strong, and always supervise children closely.

7. Carry a map and compass: It is advisable to carry a map and compass or a GPS device to help navigate the trail. Familiarize yourself with the route before starting your hike.

8. Inform someone of your plans: Before heading out, let someone know about your plans, including the trail you will be hiking and your estimated return time. This way, if something goes wrong, help can be alerted.

9. Pack essential supplies: Bring a first aid kit, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and snacks to keep yourself nourished and protected from the sun.

10. Leave no trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Preserve the natural beauty of the trail for others to enjoy.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring any outdoor area.

Conservation Notes

The Econfina River Trail, located in Florida, is considered to have a relatively stable conservation status. The trail is situated within the Econfina River State Park, which is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The park’s primary goal is to protect and preserve the natural resources and ecosystems found within its boundaries.

The conservation efforts for the Econfina River Trail primarily focus on maintaining the integrity of the river and its surrounding habitats. The river is known for its crystal-clear waters, which support a diverse array of aquatic life, including various fish species and freshwater mussels. To ensure the preservation of these habitats, the park implements measures to prevent pollution and maintain water quality.

Additionally, the park engages in regular monitoring and research activities to assess the health of the river and its ecosystems. This includes studying water quality parameters, monitoring wildlife populations, and conducting surveys to identify any potential threats or invasive species. By closely monitoring the conservation status of the Econfina River Trail, the park can take appropriate actions to mitigate any negative impacts and maintain the overall health of the ecosystem.

Overall, the conservation status of the Econfina River Trail is considered to be relatively stable due to the ongoing efforts of the park management. By prioritizing the protection of the river and its surrounding habitats, the park ensures that visitors can continue to enjoy the natural beauty and biodiversity of this unique trail for years to come.

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