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Wekiva River Report
(Blackwater Creek)


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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 10/30/2010 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 29 photos     Map & Directions: View


I recently wrote the Wekiva River system, including the Wekiva River, Blackwater Creek and Rock Springs Run, is "The Coolest Location" in Florida. Here is a report to back up that claim

My Report:

Launched from Katies Landing in the Lower Wekiva River State Preserve at 10 past 12. One car in the parking lot. Another came in, canoe and kayak, as I prepared to launch. Into the clear Wekiva. Clear, because most of the flow is coming from springs, not rain and runoff. It rained at my house Thursday night, first time this month. The "official" total at the airport is 0.00 for October. My boss lives near Katie’s Landing, she had no rain Thursday.


Lots of great blue herons and alligators, as I paddled down River. Just 3 boats on the way down the Wekiva to Blackwater Creek. Two kayaks, and a motor boat, proceeding slowly.

The gators were lethargic, not moving off the bank. So were the belted kingfishers, relatively speaking. I was able to get plenty of alligator photos, and 3 kingfisher photos, 2 good ones, which is 2 more than usual.

Arrived at Blackwater Creek, at 1:40, 90 minutes after I began. Paddled up the narrow creek until a low tree blocked the way. Had I needed to go under, I could have, but I had already been out two hours, so it was a good time to turn back. Stopped at a high spot on the bank for a break.

Break over, back in the yak, but I got out of the yak a second time. Passing a stream flowing into the Creek, I looked up it. Never know what you may see. Wait! is that a bear? Reversed course, thought I saw one. Landed, walked through the woods. Still thought I saw it, but when I got closer, I saw what I was looking at was just a dark log. Now I'm not sure if I saw a bear. If I did, it immediately ran off after I first saw it and drifted past the stream. It was about 70 yards away, and I was noisy back paddling, so I may not have heard it run away. I'd say 50-50 I saw a bear. Also alligators, ibis, limpkins, great blue heron, hawk and belted kingfishers. No photos. I had a very good view of not one, but two alligators swimming underwater in "Clearwater Creek" As with the Wekiva, freshwater springs are supplying most of the flow these days.

Down Blackwater, back to the Wekiva. Paddling up River, I heard voices behind me. So, I paddled quickly to stay ahead of them. I'd rather be the one disturbing the wildlife first.

The trailing paddlers were persistent, and chatty. I pulled over and let them pass me, waiting for them to get out of sight. I picked up the paddle, now a motor boat slowly coming up River. Finally, peace and quiet.

And, what's this? A manatee under my kayak! Headed up River. I turned around, drifted , the manatee checked me out, sniffing the kayak. It would have been easy for me to reach out and touch it, I did not. It’s a wild animal, not a dog to be petted.

For those of you familiar with the Wekiva, the manatee was a few minutes down River of the flat, grassy area where boaters land. The down river one, not the one just Wekiva Haven. Speaking of boats, saw another three, all slowed to pass me.

Saw two more kayakers as I approached Katies Landing. They were gone by the time I landed, after taking a detour, exploring the shallows on the west side of the River.

Bird life included, osprey, hawk, moorhens, vultures, woodpeckers, coots, blue heron, great blue herons, great egret, sandhill crane, turkeys, green herons, anhingas, and more.

I landed at 5:40, 5 and a half hours on the Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek. Uncrowded, houses on the east bank for a bit less than a mile, then nothing but cypress, alligators and birds.Bears and manatees if you are fortunate, clear, cool water. That’s why the Wekiva is “The Coolest”.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Fees/Costs $: 2


Photos from Blackwater Creek:    (Click image to view full size)

Anhinga No Comm
Anhinga
Ibis No Comm
Ibis
Blue heron No Comm
Blue heron
Turtle No Comm
Turtle
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Great blue heron No Comm
Great blue heron
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Belted kingfisher No Comm
Belted kingfisher
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Ibis No Comm
Ibis
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Mouth Blackwater Cre No Comm
Mouth Blackwater Cre
Blackwater Creek No Comm
Blackwater Creek
Limpkin No Comm
Limpkin
Alligator No Comm
Alligator
Turkeys No Comm
Turkeys
Manatee No Comm
Manatee
Manatee No Comm
Manatee
Coot No Comm
Coot
Anhinga No Comm
Anhinga
Sandhill Cranes No Comm
Sandhill Cranes
Turkey No Comm
Turkey
Turkey No Comm
Turkey
Great blue heron No Comm
Great blue heron
Great egret h sapien No Comm
Great egret h sapien
Wekiva River No Comm
Wekiva River


Post Date: 10/31/2010

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