Prairie Creek – Jan 2019

Prairie Creek – Jan 2019

The Paddle Notes:

Previous posts for Prairie Creek were back in September 2017 and September 2018 and contain additional details and photos of the Creek.

Prairie Creek - January 2019
Prairie Creek – January 2019

High Water Levels Remain…

James Photos Prairie Creek
James Photos Prairie Creek – photo by John Fields

It was a chilly January morning, in the mid-40’s, but by the time I got several of the kayaks unloaded, down the slope to the water’s edge, I was warming up pretty quickly. We launched on the southeast corner of the SR 20 Bridge, near Kate’s Fish Camp. It is a steep slope down to the water but there were no issues. As was the case for the two previous paddles over the last year and a half, the current was moving well and the water was high.

The sun was out and the sky was blue creating a very scenic paddle despite the now leafless trees,  it didn’t take long to hit our first obstruction, barely a 1/4 mike into the trip. The creek makes a bend right where a tall old cypress lay across our path. There were opportunities to get around the tree at either end, and some of us took the end that did offer challenges due to the current. We all managed without incident and continued on our paddle through familiar settings. Nearing the transmission line, on a sunny shoreline, a very large gator entered the water ahead of us, never to be seen again. It happened so fast there are no photos.

We always enjoy a break at the picnic table located along the creek about a 1.25 miles down ( 29°35’55.32″N, 82°14’54.89″W ), from there it’s under the trail bridge, on to the the water structure into Payne’s Prairie, down Camp’s Canal and the take out on HWY 234. Further details on this trip can be found in previous posts here September 2017 and September 2018.

Prairie Creek 2019 Gallery:

Prairie Creek 2018 Gallery:

Prairie Creek 2017 Gallery:

Following are the more specific details of the paddle which can also be viewed in my original post from 2017

Prairie Creek Paddle Map and Details:

Paddle Map - Prairie Creek 2018
Paddle Map – Prairie Creek 2018

Location IconLocation: This section of Prairie Creek is located 5.8 miles SE of Gainesville on HWY 20. Kate’s Fish Camp, visible on the North side of HWY 20, is located just under a 1/4 mile South of the creek’s start on Newnan’s Lake.

Kayak Launch IconLaunch point: The launch for this paddle was on the southeast side of SR 20 bridge. Launching from SR 20 is a bit tougher as there is a steep slope down to the creek and requires a portage of about 125′ alongside the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail.

Take-Out point: The take-out is located CR 234 on the SW bank over the bridge.

Rentals are available at Kate’s Fish Camp, 6518 SW Hawthorne Road, Gainesville, FL 32641. 3(352) 372-1026.

Distance IconPaddle Distance: 4.5 miles


Duration IconDifficulty: Easy to moderate depending on the water level. At lower levels there are some trunks in the water that can be tricky to maneuver over and may even require getting out of the kayak to help it off the logs. It does take some strength to maneuver some of these obstacles.

Duration IconAverage Paddle Time: We paddled this, during high water in 2 hrs 20 min. Several obstructions added to this time.


Width Depth iconWidth and Depth: The creek usually varies from 40′ to 75′. The water level is definitely variable sometimes a couple of feet to several feet during high water


Current tidal IconCurrent – Tidal: Fed by Newnans Lake and rainfall.


Side Paddle IconSide Paddles: There are no side paddles along the creek. There are some swamp ponds along the East side of Camps Canal but these are often full of Duckweed.


icon-restroomsRest Areas: There are minimal rest areas, though if nature calls there are some areas. There is a picnic table at 1.2 miles, a nice oak tree at 2.63 miles.

So ends another adventure on Prairie Creek and another chapter in Florida Paddle Notes!

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