Cash Creek: A Day Trip For Kayakers, Canoeists, Anglers, And Picnickers
GPS Coords: 29°48’59.61″ N 84°50’12.59″ W
by Ed Tiley
Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the Forgotten Coast, most likely you’ve never taken a picnic basket up Rt. 65 to Cash Creek Landing. That’s a shame because there are few better ways to spend a lazy afternoon in the fall than to lounge around in Tate’s Hell.
As beautiful as our beaches are, the Apalachicola Bay and River afford a beauty and serenity all their own. You really do owe it to yourself to discover some of these areas because they are equally awesome as our beaches.
Cash Creek is the perfect beginner day trip because of its simplicity. It is a small concrete boat ramp with an unrailed dock on a quiet stretch of Cash Creek. A tin roof over a few picnic tables, a couple of porta-potties and a heavy park style charcoal grill complete the amenities. The rest is Nature.
To get here is simple. By car leave St. George Island or Apalachicola and head east on Highway 98. As you leave Eastpoint behind, about a mile east you will come to Franklin County’s only north-south highway, Rt. 65. Turn north and go about 4.5 miles until you see the sign for Tate’s Hell Cash Creek Day Use Area. What a fancy way to say picnic shed and boat ramp!
By boat, follow the power lines east across the bay north of the Hwy 98 bridge. When you get to East Bay, make your way northward keeping the Magnolia Bluff shoreline to your right. Keep in mind that Apalachicola Bay is way shallow, especially where East Bay and East Bayou converge. Keep it slow as you learn the shifting channels. Just keep the shoreline to your right and you will pass into East Bayou, then merge into Cash Creek. Follow it, passing under the Rt. 65 bridge, until you reach the boat landing.
Winding its way through marsh grass, Cash Creek is an easy place to put in with small boats, canoes, and kayaks. For fishing boats, leaving the ramp to the left around the point directly opposite the ramp will lead you under Rt. 65 and out into East Bayou, Blount’s Bay, and the wide open spaces of Apalachicola Bay itself.
For paddlers, either direction will yield a satisfying easy water journey. Leave left and you will shortly come to a small island and an oxbow that has not yet closed.
Turn right when leaving the launch, and you can follow Cash through several meanders until the water forks with Cash to the right, and High Bluff Creek to the left. Past the fork both continue a good ways. Cash narrows and works its way southeast, while High Bluff turns northward and crosses an old logging road, then runs roughly parallel to another logging road.
Meanwhile back at the landing is a covered picnic shelter on a concrete pad, and a heavy duty park style charcoal grill. If you walk back up the road toward Rt. 65, there are several logging trails that branch off that you can wander down to work up an appetite.
Whether you’re launching to go fishing, or fishing about for a picnic lunch, Cash Creek is a delightful spot off the beaten track where you can find peace and quiet with a side order of natural beauty.