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Gulf Coast Visitor Center - Everglades City FL
This is a paddle for intermediate/experienced paddlers only. If anyone would like to drive down on Thursday, Collier Seminole State Park is a beautiful campground and is 30 miles north of Everglades City: http://www.floridastateparks.org/collierseminole/ We will meet at the launch site at 9 am and launch appx 10 am. The usual applies to this trip: 1 gal of water per person per day, bug repellent, sunscreen, etc. Tents or hammocks. PFDs and skirts to be worn to and from island, and at all times when paddling. Bring GPS and VHF radio if you have them. Fishing gear if you like to fish. Sea kayaks ONLY. This is approximately a 10 mile/3.5-4 hr paddle. There are plenty of places to stop and take a break. As Pavilion is in ENP, it requires a permit. I will pick up the permit. Permit is $10, plus $2 p/person p/night. Limiting this trip to 10 people at this time. Don’t count on cell phone service once there. If you want to reach someone who is there and you are on the way send them a text message. Texting will come and go instantly when service comes back for that split second. Internet access or conversations range from hit and miss to mostly non-existent.
PADDLE DESCRIPTION: 7-9 miles, 4-5 hours - This stretch of the Hillsborough River is “among the most scenic in Central Florida”. We often see lots of gators and birds. After paddling the river from Sargents Park to Morris Bridge Park,we will take a lunch break. Then we will continue downstream for a leisurely padde to Trout Creek Park. This is considered an easy to moderate paddle, perfect for both experienced paddlers and for the paddlers who are just starting to enjoy this wonderful sport. Location: Tampa, FL USA Class: 1 Distance Paddled: about 7.5 one way Water: fresh, flat blackwater, with a slow (1/2 to 1 MPH) current that can be paddled in either direction Wildlife: Wildlife normally seen - great blue heron, little blue heron, anhinga, white ibis, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, black vulture, turkey vulture, Florida red-bellied turtle, peninsula cooter,sometimes deer, hogs and hopefully lots of alligators. Wildlife occasionally or at certain times of year seen - roseate spoonbill, wood stork, pied-billed grebe, prothonotary warbler, blue-gray gnat catcher, American robin, wild turkey, great horned owl, yellow-crowned night heron, bald eagle, river otter, raccoon, wood duck, Florida banded water snake & brown water snake (both non-poisonous) Special Regulations: No picking flowers or feeding wildlife (especially gators). Stay off private property, no alcohol, glass, firearms, Styrofoam or trash. Fishing is allowed with a valid license. Hillsborough River Info: A 34.5-mile (55.5 km) canoe trail (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Canoe_trail&action=edit&redlink=1) is designated by the State of Florida, starting at Hillsborough River State Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_River_State_Park) and ending at Rowlett Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rowlett_Park&action=edit&redlink=1) in Tampa. Morris Bridge Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Morris_Bridge_Park&action=edit&redlink=1), Trout Creek Wilderness Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trout_Creek_Wilderness_Park&action=edit&redlink=1), Hillsborough River State Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_River_State_Park) Lettuce Lake Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce_Lake_Park), Riverfront Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverfront_Park), Riverhills Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Riverhills_Park&action=edit&redlink=1), Angel of Hope Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Angel_of_Hope_Park&action=edit&redlink=1), Rogers Park, Sulphur Springs Water Tower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulphur_Springs_Water_Tower), and Rivercrest Park are all are located along the Hillsborough River. **DIRECTIONS** On north side of US 301 about 5 miles east of I-75. From I-75, exit onto Fowler Avenue and head east for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto US 301 and head north about 3 miles. Park entrance on left. You can contact me (Craig) at[masked] if you need information, help or get lost. There is an admission/parking fee (around $2.00).
Alderman’s Ford County Park was named after James Alderman, who, in 1848, sloped the banks in thisin 1902, Democratic Party candidates in Hillsborough County started their political campaigns here. Thistrend continued for more than 60 years. The site became a county park in 1950 and the park nowencompasses 1,141 acres. The Alafia River provides the paddler with occasional shoals to get the heart pounding. Ibis,wood stork, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, kingfisher, blue heron, songbirds,alligators and turtles can all be spotted. When the water is high and the current becomes swift. Most of the trail’s shorelines are undeveloped and in public ownership. The canoe launch at Aldermans Ford is on a channel that leads to the main river. Travel approximately 100 yards from the canoe launch and turn left (downstream). You will quickly pass under a small, but high bridge. From this point, the river narrows and proceeds beneath cypress, hardwood hammock and oak trees that provide welcome shade. Along the Alafia, the banks are generally several feet high and heavily vegetated, making it difficult to land or launch. The river is fairly swift (1 to 4 MPH depending on water levels), with several small sets of whitewater rapids created by limestone shoals in the river. At very low water levels these become difficult to pass without bottoming out and at high water you might not notice them. However, if the water is just right, you'll experience up to 10 sets of class 1 whitewater rapids. Of course, compared to any state north of 30 degrees latitude it's not much, but for Florida, the whitewater is great. Alderman's Ford County Park – On Thompson Road, a half block west of CR 39, one mile north of Lithia. CR 640 Bridge – Six miles southeast of Brandon. (9 miles) No Parking Lithia Springs County Park – One mile east on Lithia Springs Road, off CR 640. (1 mile)