Rainbow River & Indian Creek

Donna paddles Indian Creek
Donna paddles beautiful Indian Creek

Being housebound for a couple of months as caregivers, we are now able to get out on the waterways little by little. Today, despite a threat of rain, Donna and I headed on over to the Rainbow River expecting crowds and finding none! The weather was beautiful and we had a relaxing few hours, spending some time exploring beautiful Indian Creek and enjoying the paddle to the Rainbow head spring.

Many of you know, from previous posts, that I have written about the controversy concerning Indian Creek and Gissy Spring being ‘navigable waterways’, and thus open to public use, and/or being private property. Jim Gissy’s lawyer and I went back and forth without any data to prove one way or the other that the portion of Indian Creek, beyond the mean high water mark, was considered a navigable waterway, which in the end determines if it is private property. Their solution was to simply lock the gate located at the mean high water mark, halfway up Indian Creek, and prevent folks from paddling further up to the spring. I am not advocating folks to simply paddle under the gate for further exploration, but am advocating making smart choices when it comes to Private Property rights. You can read other posts I have done on Gissy Spring, Indian Creek, and the controversy, here…James

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Indian Creek:

Indian Creek
Indian Creek and Indian Creek Springs Group

Passing the entrance to Rainbow Springs State Park, cars were lined up and there were signs indicating the parking lot was full. Expecting the same at KP Hole County Park, it was a surprise to see a relatively empty park at noon!

Clear Water of Indian Creek
Clear Water of Indian Creek

A warm, sunny day and we were on the water for the first time together in months! Our first destination was a paddle up Indian Creek, just a 1/4 mile north of the launch on the East shoreline of the river. This is a popular spot to dock, anchor, and simply relax in the cool shallow water. Our goal was to do just that, but not before an adventure up the creek. The water was about 12″ lower than a previous paddle back in October of 2019, but the creek was still the gem it is! Clear water, white sandy bottom with a good flow and along the banks the Alligator-lilies (Hymenocallis palmeri) were in bloom. Also, on this trip, there were several trees down across the creek, requiring a portage on one occasion, but not a big issue at all.

The gate, which is located halfway up the creek, was locked this time and we made a personal decision as to whether to proceed under or turn back.


icon-information-lrg-orangeImportant Information: Remain in your kayak or in mid-stream as this is private property up to and along the mean high watermark of the Rainbow River.


The rest of our day was relaxing. Numerous turtles today, as well as Florida Gar and a gator swimming across the river near Devil’s Elbow Cave! We paddled to the head spring, relaxed under the shade of the giant Elephant Ear plants, and capped off our day with some great Gator Tail, Crabcakes, and Stumpknocker Beer at the Blue Gator Tiki Bar & Restaurant. Glad to be back on the water!


Additional Information…

Previous FPN posts for The Rainbow River, Indian Creek, and Gissy Spring with details and maps…

Rainbow River/Indian Creek…

Florida’s Navigable Waters…

Riparian Rights…

Gissy Spring and more…

 


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2 Comments

  1. James, your Paddle Notes are everything I hoped Dave’s Yak Tales to be. And more. If there is ever a trial on the Navigability of Indian Creek, I would be more than happy to testify. And supply photos and descriptions from navigating it to the springs several times in 2005-2006.

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