Black Creek Paddling Festival- 2022
Day 1/Wednesday, December 7:
Camp Chowenwaw Park, Paddling Miles: 0
Festival participants will check in at Camp Chowenwaw Park between 1-5 PM. After checking in, they will set up their tents and relax after exploring the park. Please note that there is a designated camping area and that gear will be transported via pushcarts. Camp Chowenwaw is a County gem that remains largely unknown. The park is a 150-acre site containing undisturbed wetland and upland environments and is home to a plethora of wildlife. It is located at the mouth of Black Creek, just outside of Green Cove Springs, FL. This spot offers one of the most picturesque river sunset views anywhere in Florida, and it’s close to pavilions, picnic tables, restrooms, and a 5-minute walk to hot showers in the campground. Camp Chowenwaw, the Creek word for “sister”, was dedicated in 1933, and was originally a Girl Scout Camp.
Dinner will be served at 6 PM, followed by an overview of the weekend and an educational presentation by regional waterway advocates. Afterward, we’ll light the campfire and enjoy the moonlight and stars. By the way, there are cabins at Camp Chowenwaw Park that are available for rent during our event, (at your own cost) and include 9 Tree House Cabins.
Day 2/Thursday, December 8:
Camp Chowenwaw Park to Black Creek, Paddling Miles: 12
Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. From 8:30-9:30, paddlers will launch their boats and enjoy a scenic paddle on Black Creek where you’ll enjoy the water views, wildlife, and fun!
Today’s journey will take us 6 miles up the winding Black Creek to about a mile past the railroad bridge. There are a few small beaches where we can get out and stretch our legs. The creek is named for the water coloration, caused by the presence of tannin from decaying leaves and vegetation. It is considered to be one of the cleanest creeks in the state. Clay County is a Blueways Community.
After lunch, paddlers can relax for the afternoon or explore the park’s hiking trails. After our 6 PM dinner, paddlers will be treated to a benefit concert by one of Paddle Florida’s favorite musical performers. Musicians are donating their time and talents to this event, and concert proceeds will benefit our continuing place-based learning programs. We’ll end the evening around the campfire.
Camp Chowenwaw Park to Peter’s Creek, Paddling Miles: 8
After breakfast at 7:30 a.m., we’ll take a beautiful, leisurely paddle up Peters Creek in Green Cove Springs to see swamp/wetland banks, birds, and other wildlife. The total distance will be about 8 miles. A final lunch will be served as paddlers pack up their boats and camping gear and head back home with fond memories of a weekend spent on the water.