Nine day paddle trip in southern Everglades.
Started at Flamingo Marina. Ended back at Flamingo.
Night 1: Headed north to So. Joe River Chickee via buttonwood canal. Manatees have been seen there as well as Crocodiles
Night 2: Joe Rive Chickee--wanted to go to Oyster Bay but it was unavailable that night so we had a short day.
Night 3: Oyster Bay Chikee. Most favorite chikee location of the trip. Did not have to share a chickee the first three nights.
Canepatch: Heard good things about this campsite. It was an old Indian mound bult up by large shells. Campsite was good but we had to share the campsite with one other paddler and 4 other boats. Everyone was friendly and accommodating but the dock is small for so many boats. The campsite is overgrown comparing it to Johnny Molloy's description of the campsite-- you cannot find other side campsites. It is one group site with 3 tables. Water in the Avocado creek is fresh. I was told alligators were not often seen in this area so we went for a swim. Later that evening we saw a 6 ft. gator right off the dock where we were standing in the water. It probably was waiting for fish scraps.
Night 4: Harney River Chikee. Has an extreme tide change and strong currents in this area. My least favorite chickee on the trip for these reasons plus the location is not very scenic in comparison to other sights.
Night 5: Graveyard ground site: Surprisingly my favorite campsite of the trip. Very Scenic with views of gulf and creek waters. Terns and wading birds present. Some raccoon activity. Possible heavy use by boaters and day use. The next morning while kayaking got the privilege to see the magnificent frigatebird;
7 ft. wing span and may stay in flight for 1 week.
Night 6: North West Cape beach: not much beach. Coastline has changed from recent hurricanes.
East Cape beach: Scenic beach more shade. Used more by boaters and day use. The nicest beach camp with interesting shore line is Middle Cape. Sea life critters along shallow shore.
Back to Flamingo
- Everglades is designated a Wilderness area. This label is misleading when it comes to allowing motor boat access. During the week we encountered fewer than the weekend. For the most part everyone was pleasant and accommodating. A few motor boats did ignore the no wake zone in signed manatee areas. Not sure if they were unaware or just disregarded the signs. Some boaters slowed down when they saw us kayaking and others did not. It would be nice if some areas were closed to motor boats, but it must be noted that it will take all interested people and visitors to keep the Everglades protected and to create more support in the current conservation actions that are taking place to save the Glades from simply drying up. 80 % of the original water that flowed through the Glades is now diverted to Miami.
- Trip Planner:
- A good Book for planning trip: A paddlers guide to Everglades National Park by Johnny Molloy
- Make sure your head net is ultra fine mesh. No see ums are plentiful. This Winter was very warm.
- Pay attention to tides for traveling and access to chickees. Harney river chickee had the most differential between low and high tide. High tide makes it easy to access chickees and low tide makes it nearly impossible to unload gear when paddling a kayak.
- Plan the majority of your trip during the week. Although the Everglades is a Wilderness area, Motor boats are allowed in it and the water ways and campsites can get busy during the winter months.
Kayaking, flamingo city, everglades
Kayaking, flamingo city, everglades