For the more intrepid explorer, this rustic river is kept clear enough of obstructions to make a nice day of paddling and birding. Launch from Florida Caverns State Park and paddle upriver toward Christoff Ferry Landing on the Chipola River Water Management Area, where the river forks at the confluence with Waddells Mill Creek. When you’re done paddling, float back, watching for brilliant Prothonotary Warblers and Yellow-crowned Night Herons along the shore. Winter Wrens are common along the river between December and February. Take water and a map, and allow enough time to return before the park closes at sunset. Christoff Ferry Landing on Bumpnose Rd. is another launch site, but because of its secluded location, the state park is a better choice. You may also launch from the south end of the Chipola River Bridge on SR 166/CR 167/Caverns Rd. If you prefer to bird on foot head to the Bellamy Bridge trail, which can be accessed from CR 162/Jacob Rd. Wood Thrush, Acadian Flycatcher and Swainson’s Warbler are present in the spring and summer. Be advised that portions of the trail can be flooded at times, so plan accordingly. Seasonal hunting takes place in the area; please click here for information on dates, regulations and more.