Summer is almost over, but that does not mean much in Santa Rosa County. It will stay warm long enough for many more visits to the creek. Milton is known as the Canoe Capitol of Florida. This title was designated in 1980 by the Florida legislature.
A website called Blackwater Living.com offers information about the Milton area, offering details about the river, events in the area, the history of downtown – including a “walking tour” with photographs, the Blackwater Pyrates, and much more.
Today, boating and water sports on the Blackwater River are as popular as ever. Boats approaching Milton from Destin, Navarre, the Intercoastal Waterway, Pensacola and the Gulf of Mexico can enjoy long-term and short-term docking or quiet anchorage in the gentle waters of the Blackwater. The channel leading to Milton from Escambia Bay, through East Bay, then north to the mouth of the river is deep and well marked. Depths to Milton range from 12 to 26 feet making entry by large vessel easy. Depths above Milton average five to eight feet for quiet evening cruises. It is recommended that you consult local knowledge before venturing as far as Pucker Point (depth 2.5 to 3.5) and always have a depth finder on board.
Carpenter's Park is just north of the city less than a mile from town-center. It has two boat launches that give quick access to the river and is a popular spot for family picnics and lazy summer days. Outdoor equipment is available for the kids and a small dock provides fishing opportunities. The two inlets into the park area are divided by Buzzards Island which got its name years ago when buzzards frequented its trees. The southern boat ramp is only about two hundred yards from Milton's only marina. Be careful in those waters! Alligators are known to share the area.
If you are set on getting into the water, there are two canoeing businesses in the Milton area: Bob’s Canoe on Munson Hwy. and Adventures Unlimited located north of Whiting Field, off Hwy. 87.
www.BlackwaterLiving.com contributed to this article.