Econfina Canoe Livery

Econfina Canoe Livery, Youngstown: Address, Phone Number, Econfina Canoe Livery Reviews: 4/5

Econfina Canoe Livery
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By MaryLouHoo
Mixed Feelings
Jun 2022
I’ll start off by saying our family of six is completely inexperienced with canoeing. I thought it would be a piece of cake, we just paddle down this peaceful creek and visit beautiful springs. WRONG. Within five minutes we tipped over and lost a snorkel, slides and a phone. We completely filled with water, were in water up to our chins and trying to get to the side of the creek in a quickly moving current. My 12 year old and I both panicked and clung to the side of an embankment while we waited for help. This was by far the quickest moving and rock filled section of the creek. My three teens were in a separate canoe and couldn’t stop themselves in the current so they had to keep going. Anytime a passing vessel floated by I asked them to look for my kids at the first spring and tell them to stay where they were. As a first time guest, in an unknown environment, this experience was terrifying and we were completely unprepared. By the time we were all reunited and leaving the first spring, I had sort of calmed down. We ended up missing some springs bc they weren’t marked and we didn’t see them. My tips- watch some videos on steering on a canoe and what to do if it tips. A lot of spots have large logs, branches, etc sticking out of the water or just under the surface. It can feel like an obstacle course. Take only essentials (water, food and ONE phone) in an airtight waterproof container. Wear water shoes as we cut our feet when we tipped over. Bottom line- be prepared and do some research if you’ve never done anything like this. It could be a wonderful experience if you’re prepared and have some knowledge under your belt.

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5641 Porter Pond Rd, Youngstown, FL 32466-3803
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63 reviews
Very good

Athens, GA1 contribution
Aug 2014 • Friends
I somewhat agree with the reviewer who stated that the springs are beautiful, but not much else. Everywhere we go we try and find a different river to kayak.....I have to say that I would not rank this as one of the better trips we have made on a river. I'm not sure what other reviewers are accustomed to in the way of kayak equipment, but the kayaks we had to choose from were the old style and heavy and cumbersome to navigate. The staff was not overly helpful and we were only given information about the take out and the river itself after having to ask once we had already taken the kayaks to the river. Just an FYI.....all the springs are located within the first 1.5 - 2 miles of the paddle and unless you are an avid kayaker I would suggest just driving to the springs and taking a picnic lunch because it is a really long paddle. And the staff upon pickup weren't overly friendly either, actually don't remember them even acknowledging the customers they were picking up.....just drove up, loaded the kayaks, opened the van doors and off we went on a super quiet ride back.
Written September 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

3 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
We were at their gate at 8:30am when they opened and were on our way in the water by 9:00am. We stopped several times to explore the springs, swim and eat lunch. We were at the take out point at 2:00pm. It was an easy paddle due to the springs providing a nice current. Lots of crooks and turns in this creek which made it fun for us. Smaller children or inexperienced paddlers might run into a few logs. The best places to stop are near the beginning of this trip. There are a couple of springs just south of the first bridge that are worth exploring. Good stopping spots are hard to come by after emerald spring. We ended up finding a good sandy spot in shallow water to stop for lunch. When we signed in they said the first pick up was at 2:00pm and we got there about 5 minutes til and they were there ready to pick us up and bring us back to our car. We went on a Monday. This place gets busy. I suggest you get there early because the good stopping places get crowded but they are worth exploring. Would definitely do this trip again.
Written August 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sue S
Alpharetta, GA55 contributions
Sep 2016 • Family
OK, folks - This is NOT a guided tour, nor is it a controlled environment. This is a place to rent a canoe or kayak, along with life jackets and paddles, from some very nice folks who will pick you up about 6 miles downriver after 4 hours or so.

It's a wild creek, complete with many downed trees to navigate around and wildlife to observe (or avoid, as the case may be). You may capsize (we did) or get caught in the rain (we did). If you are unable to swim or successfully paddle around and through obstacles, this may not be the right trip for you. There is no way for anyone to get to you to help if you run yourself into problems.

However, if you would like to enjoy the beauty of wild Florida away from the crowds, swim in gorgeous clear cool springs, and get a bit of a workout from paddling, you will love this! Be prepared - put your electronics in sealed plastic bags, wear a life jacket if you can't swim, and bring your own drinks and snacks as there are no facilities along the way. Enjoy!
Written September 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maria A
Panama City, FL10 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
Would not recommend. Due to the waters moving faster than we could steer, within the first hour, we capsized twice - maybe it was the rain. The creek was FULL of fallen trees; the smallest ones can turn your canoe over. Both my youngest and I got huge gashes on our faces and head, not severe enough for an ambulance but enough to bleed all over our clothes & get killer headaches. When we were able to stop at the springs, I called the canoe rental place & they were NOT helpful at all. I explained we had gotten hurt & would pay extra for a pick-up at the springs or an alternate to getting back on the canoe. They started getting defensive stating it was not their fault & their only concern was for the canoe. Let me be clear, we were NOT asking for an earlier pick-up (which is not allowed & it’s printed on the form signed during the rental), we were asking for a pick-up at a closer location during their pick up times which starts at 2pm; due to our injuries, losing most of our stuff, and the our lack of experience steering the canoe. They should really add a warning stating “WE WILL NOT BE OF ANY ASSISTANCE NO MATTER THE INJURIES & JUST WANT OUR CANOE BACK.” Needless to say, we will NOT be returning. Save yourself the possible 4 hour nightmare canoe trip & just go hike or drive to the springs, which, ironically, turned out to be a couple of miles from the rental place- yes the same place they could not make any pick-up exceptions no matter the circumstances.
Written July 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Haley B
Albany, GA2 contributions
Jul 2016
I have just returned from kayaking at the Econfina Conoe Livery. There were four people and our party. One very experienced kayaker and the rest of us beginners. We have been coming down to Panama City for the past 28 years and have seen the advertisements for this establishment for years. It's advertised as a relaxing trip down the creek. First off they do not give you hardly any information before taking off in the kayaks. The first 30 mins or so, is a pretty great trip. The springs are amazing to see, if they had a place to dock and return the kayaks after the spring it would be a perfect trip but they don't. The rest of the trip down takes at least 3 hours and you have to navigate around downed trees. Many have wasps nest and many many people capsized. Once you capsize there's no where to pull over and get back on. They advertise that there are places to stop and eat lunch and relax.. This is not true at all. All the land is private property. One couple had gotten severely hurt and they were attempting to call management to get help . They denied them help. Wouldn't send them help nothing. When we finally made it to the end .., After capsizing being attacked by wasps and paddling for 4 1/2 hours, I met a local man and he told me that he takes time out of his day to ride the river looking for people who had rented kayaks from this company and had gotten stranded along the way. He said they will never send help for anyone. This man takes time of his day, everyday, helping people this company refuses to help. He actually ended up helping the couple that had been stranded earlier in our trip. If you are an experienced kayaker.. You should be fine.. But unknowing families down here for vacation should be warned. Once you put your kayak in the water .. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. NO ONE FROM YHE COMPANY WILL HELP YOU AND THEY DO NOT CARE AT ALL.
Written July 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cynthia E
Navarre, FL1 contribution
Aug 2015 • Family
If you are an expert oarsman who can turn a canoe on a dime (because you have to be to avoid all the obstacles on this river) and don't mind all the people drinking and swearing, then this is the place for you. However if you have children and would like a more relaxing and safe place to canoe, then Ecofina is not for you. The river has become one obstacle after another after another after another. Seriously, I felt like I was in boot camp. They need to clear the overhanging branches (lost count of how many times my children and I had to duck to keep from being hurt). They also need to removed some of the more dangerous trees fallen in the river. We saw several parties being tipped after getting stuck on them. You just don't have time to enjoy nature on this river because you are too busy paddling for your life. The current is very swift and if there weren't so many obstructions you could actually sit back and let the river do most of the work but you are constantly steering around debris. However the swift current was also a concern when pulling over to rest and cool off. It could take your little ones in a heartbeat. Unfortunately there were only 1 or 2 safe places to pull over and those were usually full with the party people drinking and swearing. My family will not be canoeing this river again. I hope you find a safer, more relaxing place to take yours.
Written August 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

cindy h
Panama City, FL4 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
I had family coming into town and they did not answer their phones so I could reserve a canoe and kayak. I drove to the livery and the take out points to get a feel for the trip. I made the reservations and told them two in our party were going on tubes. The employee said there was a $1 charge for tubes putting in there and they would not transport back to our car. Day of trip we put car at take out point for tubers then go to livery, pay for boats then they tell us we could not launch tubes from livery. This older woman owner? Is hostile telling us she should not even rent us boats if we are were with tubers. All she had to do is say no but she went on and on like we were the scourge of the earth.. We took our tubers to the springs which are down the road from the livery and came back for the boats. The guys with the boats were amused and completely indifferent that they might not have a canoe available after we we paid for them. They told us WE were lucky that they found a canoe for us. We Thought they were lucky cause we were ready to go country on them. We were the first trip of the day and the life jackets and oars had dried mud on them..At pick up, they don't open the van doors, don't even look at you and God forbid they talk to anyone. And the canoes are too big for this river and the constant navigating around downed trees..Yes the springs are beautiful. So rent a boat somewhere else and put in at the springs on hwy 20. Leave a car at 388 and avoid the livery like the plague it is..
Written July 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Panama City, FL1 contribution
Aug 2016 • Couples
Youre probably someone on here looking for reviews to go to econfina, despite allt he aweful reviews you probably wana check it out for yourself. DONT, these people are purely a joke. They do not care about you or that you spent money hoping for a good time. the water is NOT clear excpet for maybe ONE spot. the rest us mucky brown water. the current is so strong, not one spot to safely get out for any reason along the way. my boyfriend and i were on a canoe and it capsized & we lost everything, the canoe almost got away too, the 45$ to rent a canoe does not stop there. you have to pay a 35$ shuttle charge, per canoe, even though theyre going RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD. we had our own vehicle at the end so we didnt need thier shuttle service, they dont care, you still have to pay for it. i was so disgusted with thier customer service from the beggining i wish we would have left then. The owner was the one yelling at us telling us to go somewhere else, for what reason? we have no idea. he told us to go someone else AFTER he took our money and he had no plan to refund us. that trip isnt something i wish upon anyone. i honestly hope they get shut down. save money and a headache by putting in on your on on HWY 20. you have to drag your canoe to the water and launch it there anyways. they will tell you quick if you cant drag it to the water then you have no buisness trying to get on it ether. they give no instructions or heads up about anything!!
Written August 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michael M
Dothan, AL3 contributions
Jul 2016 • Friends
cCalled ahead and tried to make reservations and was told did not need to made them. I then drove the 54 miles and was told no boats available. Young woman did not seem to care about our problem. I would encourage anybody I know not to waste your time go to Vernon Florida and be treated with respect.
Written July 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Youngstown, FL2 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
We are locals and have our own vessel. For years we have been able to go kayaking and pay $5.00 to launch at the livery. This passed weekend we went and was told we cannot launch there any longer unless we pay $35.00 PER VESSEL- I explained we did not need transportation back being we parked a vehicle at the end and the rude young lady at the desk again said " it is still $35.00 to launch"- so she advised that we would need to go down to Highway 20 to place our kayaks in the water when actually, you can go a few yards from their property and use the canoe dock at Wiliford Springs for free!
Written June 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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