View topic - January paddle on the Loxahatchee River, Florida

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PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 12:34 pm 

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4044
Location: Toronto
Loxahatchee River. Riverbend Park Route. Online, Journal, Photos.

Summary: Great trip, highly recommended.

Loxahatchee River. Information.
Ed notes:
1. Loxahatchee is Seminole for River of Turtles.
2. Nationally designated Wild and scenic River. ... _guide.pdf ... ation.html ... 4429,d.aWc
Riverbend Park. ... QK4m_JkmvA ... orida.html ... l=us&hl=en
Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park. ... QK6EfJkmvA
Canoe Outfitters of Florida. ... erbendpark

I-95, exit 87B, west on Indiantown Road, turn left at Riverbend Park (before the bridge).
Lesson learned the hard way: do not use Google map.

General Information.
Alcohol, pets, etc are prohibited.
I don’t know whether there is a launch fee if you use your own boat.
Canoe rental is from the park concession, Canoe Outfitters of Florida (link given above).
Paddles and pfds are provided but no painters.
Free map is available; as well, concession staff give directions.
Rental boat was ideal for the outing: a Discovery 158 (whitewater boat, heavy and therefore stable).
Cost was $32.50 for the day.
Privies are available at the concession and en route, not in as bad condition as one might expect.
Bring your own lunch and water; cold drinks, ice cream and the like are available at the concession.
Bring your own dry bag and bug juice (plus the usual: sun screen, change of clothes, etc).
Hiking and biking trails run through the area; bike rental is at the park concession.
Parking lot boasts two peahens and one peacock (unfurled at the time).
Route is well signed at branch points.
Occasional road noise, especially on Cow Pen Lake and on the Cypress Canopy route near Indiantown Road.
Few paddlers were seen on the southern route, more on the northern one. Bikers and hikers are seen occasionally.
Cypress knees. ... 66&bih=675

Paddlers: Ruth Lawson and Allan Jacobs.
Checked in at the office, bought strap for my glasses, were given plastic bag to protect gear.
Walked down to the launch, got instructions plus help getting into the boat and hitting the water.
Loxahatchee River, went left (south) from canoe launch (upstream, gentle current), went right on Picnic Island loop (through culvert), continued upstream, exited left at portage sign, had lunch at picnic area, continued boat carry to pond, kept right, bridge, kept right for West Lake (paddle through reeds before it opens up), go left at the island (went right), entered Hunters’ Run, bridge, went left to continue on Hunters’ Run (some pushing and backtracking needed), bridge, Cow Pen Lake, exited left along Gator Slough Run, culvert, stayed right though narrow water, got through culvert on right but could not get canoe through the “gate” (day kayak might make it), backed up and portaged to Old River Run, continued on OR Run but cypress knees (aka knobs) blocked passage, portaged to river and put in at undesignated point across from north end of Picnic Island, continued downstream, passed launch spot from/to Old River Run, passed main launch area, did part of “Cypress Canopy Route” (went under decayed bridge and continued almost to Indiantown Road), returned to main launch area, and signed out (making apologies for mud in the boat).

1 great blue heron
1 tricoloured heron
~4 great egrets
~4 pied billed grebes
2 american coots
4 limpkins (not shy at all)
1 moorhen
1 kingfisher
1 blue jay
2 white ibis
1 wood stork (not shy at all)
2 sandhill cranes (not shy at all)
~12 turtles gobbling up the sun
~4 jumping fish (mullet?)
not so many paddlers.

Not sighted.
bugs(except one black spot that stung an ankle, leaving a red spot).
snakes: park literature says that rattlers (2 species), cottonmouths and coral snakes are present.
alligators (one big splash not far away, cause not identified).



A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)

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