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Governors Creek - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Jacksonville, FL
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: Rich Deming

Description:

Great short paddle!

Governors Creek empties into the St. Johns River and is close to where Black creek empties. As I read the previous review and wondered why I had never been up Governors Creek, I knew I would be up there soon. It is very close to where I live and I knew it was there, but, just never ventured up it. What a shame it took so long.

For a short paddle, about 90 minutes round trip, this was superb! I started out the day shinning up my Old Town Otter for a possible trade for a canoe. About 1 pm I decided to take it out one last time and had Governors creek in mind. Launching was easy, Drive up to the edge of the beach, unload, dawn the vest, snap together my paddle and off I went. 5 minutes at the most and I was in the water. I had brought my fishing pole and was going to flip some plugs, but I realized that I had forgotten my wallet and license. Sadly, I left the rod in the truck.

About five minutes up the creek, you come to a railroad tressle. I was just past the tressle when a freight train roared by. That was the last of the noise I heard for a while. Another couple of minutes later, my heart came out of my chest when a manatee surfaced 3 feet from the yak. It took my mind a second to realize what it was, then I started laughing like a mad man. Now I'm really into it. Many turtles, and egret, a Great Blue Heron and many, many alligators.

Later, I found myself at the fork talked about in the above report. The left fork is choked off but it does look like you can travel a bit farther to the left. Time being what it is, I had to leave it for another day.

I saw a father and son canoeing and told them about the manatees. They headed off to find them. Also, talked with a guy fishing using a trolling motor on a bass boat. He was having no luck but told me "A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work!" Amen to that! He also mentioned that he counted 20 manatees on his way in. He also cautioned that while they are gentle and mean no harm, they have been know to tip a canoe over. He found out the hard way. This just added to the spirit of the adventure.

Check this place out if you're short on time and need a dose of nature. One more note: there should have been gators here, but not a one to be seen.

Accommodations:

Wildlife and info center open during the week. Portable toilet near the ramp.

Fees:

No fees

Directions:

Rt 17 Boat Launch in Green Cove Springs

Launches:

Put in either side of the ramp. Looking at the ramp from land, you can put in on the right side and save yourself paddling around it. You will also be closer to the mouth of the creek.


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