Lake Disston is a 1,844 acre lake located in the southwestern corner of Flagler County. The lake is a shallow lake approximately 8 – 10 feet deep and is designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency. The lake is drained by Little Haw Creek, which flows into Crescent Lake and then flows through Dunns Creek to the St. Johns River.
Lake Disston is a popular fishing lake hosting largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, bream, and shell crackers. There is a major rookery along the northern shoreline, about 1.24 miles West of the public launch. Here you can find numerous wood storks, Ibis and Egrets. The lake also is an important habitat for Eagles, Ospreys, Herons, Coots, Anhingas and Swallow Tailed Kites.
Launch point: The launch is easily missed! After turning South off of HWY 305, travel 1.42 miles and the unpaved road to the launch is on the right hand ( West ) side of the road. The sign is easily missed. The coordinates for where 2009 and the launch road meet are 29°18’01.3″N, 81°22’09.88″W. The road is just over 900′ to the launch.
Average Paddle Time: This was a full moon and exploring paddling so there were several stops and of course the main stop to watch the full moon. Consequently our average paddle time was slow, around 1.45 mph
Rest Areas: There is a port a potty at the launch.
The Cypress Highway…
The shorelines of Lake Disston are lined with beautiful, weathered Bald Cypress trees, mostly along the northern and southern shorelines. These trees have been sculpted into pieces of art from age and weather. Just inside the grassy maidencane border are younger cypress trees ready to take their turn on what is sometimes called the Cypress Highway.
The Cypress Gallery…
The word rookery applies to the nesting place of birds, such as crows and rooks, the source of the term. Along the northern shoreline of Lake Disston, approximately 1.25 miles West of the public boat ramp is a rookery. While known for its large population of Ospreys, as well as numerous wood storks, Ibis, Eagles, Herons, Coots, Anhingas and Swallow Tailed Kites, today, the rookery was dominated by white Egrets.
Hundreds of Egrets perched the branches of several cypress trees on this particular evening.
Sunset and the August Sturgeon Moon…
As sunset approached, the Western sky over Lake Disston was painted with huge cumulus clouds bathed in the pinks and oranges of a reflected sunset. With a background of brilliant blue, the sky was the perfect backdrop for this evening’s paddle. Hundreds of birds were winging to their roosts, silhouettes before the painted evening sky.
An evening gallery on Lake Disston…
As the light faded, we were treated to several planets glowing brightly above. The orange glow of Mars to the southeast, the bright glow of Jupiter to the South and in the Western sky the unmistakable Venus, illuminated by the setting sun. We waited, and then, at 8:25pm The Sturgeon Moon began to show itself through the eastern tree horizon. Within minutes, the full moon filled the eastern sky with a deep yellow-orange glow and presented itself in full glory.
This was my first time on Lake Disston and I will definitely be back. This was a full moon paddle and thus the lighting was tough for some of the shots I wanted. I will return in the Fall, a bit earlier in the evening to capture the true beauty of the Cypress Trees.
This was definitely an inspiring paddle as well as a lot of fun with our paddle group Boll Green Aquaholics! Another great chapter for Florida Paddle Notes.