Bulow Creek - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Day Trip Report
St. Augustine, FL
Submitted by: coif
I started the trip from Highbridge Park on the intercoastal. I had a little problem finding the put in, missing the turn on to Walter Boardman and instead ended up in Ormond Beach. I backtracked and found the turn with no problems this time. The park has restrooms and a small ramp and is right on the intercoastal waterway, but it is quite narrow here.
As I was getting ready to launch the drawbridge was raised to let a large boat through, which they seem to do quite regularly. The launch is on the east bank and the mouth to Bulow is on the west bank, a little south of the ramp.
I was in the water at 9:00 and quickly crossed the intercoastal and started up the creek. The creek parallels the road for the first mile or so, so there is a pretty constant stream of cars, but the area is otherwise peaceful and undeveloped. There was nearly no current and I was able to make good progress. There were a number of people fishing from the bank and there were mullet jumping all over. I even had one jump right over the kayak. Too bad I wasn't quicker with my paddle, since I could have had a nice lunch.
I made good speed and was soon at the bridge over Walter Boardman. Its a pretty low bridge, but no problem to get under. The next section was a little tricky. The creek became more of a marsh and I would up taking one turn that deadended some time later. I had to backtrack and it turned out to be a smaller section of the creek that was the main channel. There was spartina on both banks, so it was hard to gain any perspective of where I was. Finally the creek widened out a bit and after another half hour or so I got to Bulow Park. This park contains the ruins of what was the largest sugar plantation in Florida in the early 1800's. The ruins are only a 1/4 mile walk from the boat ramp, so I took a quick trip around the area. I had gotten here by 10:30, so I made much better time than I had thought I would.
I took off again to head up the last 3 1/2 miles of the canoe trail. The trail became narrower and narrower and before I could reach the trailhead I had to turn around due to all the downed trees and limbs. Going with the flow I made very good time. By 1:00, I was back at Bulow having lunch at one of the picnic tables watching the small gator that hangs out by the dock.
Although a pretty good breeze picked up I made good time, saw a few more gators and ended up at Highbridge by about 2:30.
I was an easy trip. Even though it was supposed to be 19 miles, it sure didn't feel like it.
High Bridge Park has restrooms. Bulow plantation has a picnic area and restrooms at the interpretive center at the ruins.
None at either High Bridge. If you launch from Bulow there is a $2.00 fee. You can rent canoes at Bulow for $3.00/hr or $15/day.
Get off I95 at Old Dixie Highway. Go a couple of miles and turn east on to Walter Boardman Lane. This will take you over a small bridge over Bulow Creek. After the bridge, turn right onto High Bridge Rd. The park is on the right just after the bridge
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