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The campsites of the 105-mile Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail
By TERRY TOMALIN
Published December 23, 2005
If you are planning to paddle the Big Bend Trail, buy a copy of the state's paddling guide, which contains maps and GPS coordinates for the eight designated campsites, which are spaced about 10 to 14 miles apart. The six primitive sites require a (free) permit. Each site has a fire ring but no potable water.
Site 1: Econfina River State Park - Fee-based camping with full facilities. Call (850) 584-2135.
Site 2: Rock Island - This 20-acre island has an excellent camp spot shaded by live oaks.
Site 3: Spring Warrior Creek - Great place to camp along this historic run. Stop at the fish camp and fill your water jugs.
Site 4: Sponge Point - A favorite stopping point for shallow-water sponge fishermen from Tarpon Springs. This campsite is also located in a hardwood hammock.
Site 5: Dallus Creek - Hike through the needlerush to get to the campsite, but keep an eye out for rattlesnakes in the warmer months.
Site 6: Steinhatchee - Several options, including campgrounds and motels, for an overnight stay. Go to www.steinhatcheetoperry.com or www.purewaterwilderness.com Site 7: Sink Creek - Paddle upstream to look at the spring or take a hike on a marked trail just behind the campsite. But be careful: This site is difficult to access at low tide.
Site 8: Butler Island - Oaks and cedars grow on what is heralded as the state's most picturesque campsite. The island is also known for its poison ivy.