This is a gem of a trip with frequent shoals—one borders on a Class I rapid (and an 18 inch drop) in the first 6 miles. The river travels through several quarries. These provide long stretches of sand and gravel beaches. The rocks, which are actually hardened clay, give a moonlike landscape and very deep channels. The second half of the river becomes a float trip with deep pools. The Big Escambia, with its clear waters, is an interesting river with a split personality. The first half has plenty of shoals that border on Class I rapids (depending on the river flow).
Those are fun for the whole family. The second half is a nice float trip to Flomaton. Generally the river is floatable all year, but watch the gauges, because it could get quite low in late summer and early fall. The first 6 miles of the Big Escambia are located within the Escambia Wildlife Management Area. Here a wide variety of birds and wildlife can be found, including woodpeckers, such as the red-cockaded, red-bellied, and pileated. The area is also rich in amphibious life, including dusky gopher frogs, Pine Barrens tree frogs, and assorted snakes.
© Joe Cuhaj & Curt Burdick/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.