Haw Creek – April 2020

Haw Creek
Haw Creek

Flagler County has opened the launch at Russell Landing in Haw Creek Preserve. My kayaking adventures have been quite a bit curtailed due to the Covid-19 virus, so we are being quite careful with our adventures for the time being. Today however, going solo, I decided to get a very early start and head over to Haw Creek. The weather was perfect and I felt getting an early start would have minimal other paddlers. I was not disappointed, I was all alone...James

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Haw Creek Paddle Map…

Haw Creek Paddle Map
Haw Creek Paddle Map

Haw Creek Details:

Location IconLocation: Haw Creek is located in Flagler County. The source begins 13.5 miles East of Ormond Beach and flows north and northeast to Russell Landing, in Haw Creek Preserve. It then flows about 4.4 miles further flowing into Dead Lake, which has a very interesting history!

 

Kayak Launch IconLaunch point(s): The launch for this paddle s Russell Landing Boat Ramp, 2007 County Road 2007, Bunnell.

 

Distance IconPaddle Distance: 7.75 miles

 

Duration IconDifficulty: Easy to moderate…Duckweed and Dollarweed clogs can present some problems getting through, as well as strong winds coming of Crescent lake and Dead Lake

 

Duration IconAverage Paddle Speed: 2.3 mph.

 

Width Depth iconWidth and Depth: The width is from 75′ at Russell Landing to – 175′ where it reaches Crescent Lake and the Dead Lake. Based on the gauge at Russel’s Landing the depth was 1.5′

 

Current tidal IconCurrent – Tidal: The current is very minimal flowing toward Dead Lake.

 

Side Paddle IconSide Paddles: NA

 

icon-restroomsRest Areas: Restrooms available at the launch at Russel Landing

 


Russell Landing Launch:

Launch - Russell Landing - Haw Creek
Launch – Russell Landing – Haw Creek

Russell Landing Launch is in the Haw Creek State Preserve. It is a nice launch, plenty of parking and has nice restroom facilities. There is a boardwalk that takes you a 1/2 mile into the forested swamp, having several side ‘spokes’ providing views of Haw Creek.


Duckweed, Dollar Weed and Water Lettuce:

A tough Duckweed Clog
A tough Duckweed clog on a previous paddle

Duckweed, Dollarweed and Water Lettuce are three invasive aquatic plants that can be a problem on Haw Creek. On this morning’s paddle the Duckweed was loose and floating freely. The Dollarweed was forming large clumps in several section of the creek, but had not yet formed any clogs…paddling was smooth and easy the entire length.

 

 


Haw Creek:

It was quite chilly getting on the creek by 7:30 am and made for a very pleasant paddle! Haw Creek offers up a peaceful flow through forested wetland swamp, lined with Palms, Bay, Ash, Pine and Oaks. Along the northern shore is the State Park accessible by the creek only. The trees are covered with several species of the Tillandsia genus. One common species is Bartram’s Air PlantTillandsia bartrami. At mile 1.6 there were a noticeable increase in another species Tillandsia utriculata – Giant Air Plant, one of the largest species growing in Florida.

Mile 1.8 offers a nice sheltered canopy to stop for a rest or snack, albeit, remaining in the kayak. There is an old metal boat hull here and the Tillansdia are numerous.


The entire paddle was quiet and I was amazed at the number of fish breaking the surface of the creek…non stop. I ventured only up to mile #4 where to the left is Crescent Lake and continuing straight is Dead Lake. The winds pick up considerably here and while I paddled further previously, today I made a turn around at this point. I enjoyed a nice breeze at my back the entire way. Along the banks Asters were in bloom, as were numerous Buttonbush, Wild Rice, Purple Sesban and the showy Samaras on the Ash trees. Also noticed were several Common Persimmon trees with young fruit along the banks. I encountered several Limpkins and Black Crowned Herons, along with 7 medium size gators.

This morning’s paddle was just what the doctor ordered…sunshine and solitude!

Haw Creek Gallery:


Guides, Maps & Info…


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2 Comments

  1. Peter A Clayton

    Haw has always been one of our favorite local paddles – the obstacles you describe from duck weed to winds we’ve certainly experienced – but well worth the effort. Thanks for letting us know it’s open.

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