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Once through the first line of trees, you are out of sight of the tourist area of the park, and you can paddle on and on between the trees. A two-hour paddle did not put me anywhere near the end of the lake, although I may have been going in circles. Once out of sight of the put-in, a good sense of direction is invaluable.
The lake is dark tannin saturated water, and the trees thick but easily negotiated in a kayak. Once out of sight of the park office, you truly feel that you have entered an earlier age. You are in the midst of a forest of trees hung with Spanish Moss, with the dark water stretching in all directions.
The water is very calm and the paddling easy. If you are a beginner, as I am, I would recommend a stable kayak or canoe. Since this is a habitat for cottonmouths, snapping turtles, and alligators, any direct introduction to the water could prove an unpleasant experience.
The Park allows motorized boats up to ten horsepower. There were none out when I was there, and it is unlikely that a powerboat could thread its way through the maze of cypress trees.
All in all this was a very enjoyable day trip. The park does having camping facilities and 4 cabins.
Submitted by: Joe DuRant
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