Alafia River

Rest Stop - Alafia RiverThe second of three new paddle spots on this camping weekend in Hillsborough County. On this day we launched and paddled the Alafia River…what a treat it was! A narrow, winding river, with lush canopies, clear incoming streams, and numerous shoals to provide some thrills along the 10-mile route. We will certainly return to this river!…James

Sweetwater Creek 2020

Gator Face Off - Sweetwater CreekWith the Rodman Reservoir drawdown ending, it was time to revisit Sweetwater Creek and Deep Creek while the water was at a low level. On a previous paddle in September 2019, the water level was quite a bit higher and much of the paddle was over the hundreds of tree stumps killed by the reservoir waters…James

The Ocklawaha Drawdown is Over

An Ocklawaha MorningThis past Saturday, Feb 29th, we paddled the 14 mile stretch from Eureka West to Orange Springs and enjoyed Cannon Springs for the last time until the next drawdown. It’s sad to see so many dead trees as well as current, Palms and Cypress, decaying before our eyes due to the high water caused by damming the Ocklawaha. Seeing so many tree seedlings sprouting on the banks, nature’s natural, forest regeneration, happening before our eyes, only to be covered over to die, is disheartening…James

Dora Canal

Spring Growth - Dora CanalWe spent President’s Day on the Dora Canal down in Tavares. It was my first time on the canal and I found it to be a quite pretty place to paddle, though very busy with tour boats, fishing boats, and pleasure craft. I would highly recommend doing this on a day other than the weekend or on a holiday…James

An Ocklawaha Moonrise and Sunset

Sunset through the Tree TrunksWith the Rodman Reservoir drawdown taking place every few years, it presents a wonderful opportunity to experience paddling on the original Ocklawaha channel, lined with the towering remnants of Bald Cypress, Tupelo, and Ash, killed when the reservoir was filled. These past couple of weeks I have shared paddles to the ‘Sentinel Cypress’, an early morning Sunrise through a cold mist, and today I share a unique paddle to observe the January ‘Wolf’ Moon rising over the Ocklawaha, Enjoy!…James

An Ocklawaha River Sunrise

Ocklawaha SunriseThis morning I planned a short trip over to the Ocklawaha River near Orange Springs in order to capture photographs of the sunrise through the cold haze and dead tree trunks, exposed during the Rodman Dam drawdown. I was on the water by 7:00 am, it was in the low 40°’s but well worth it. Not a soul around, hundreds of Storks, Limpkins, and Herons just waking up. The haze, the silence, and the silhouettes of dead tree trunks made for an eerie, yet beautiful setting…totally cool!…James