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There are two approaches to paddling this creek. You can have the outfitter take you 6 or 8.5 miles upstream and paddle with the flow or you can paddle upstream as I did. This will depend upon the flow; you can easily paddle against the stream depending upon the conditions.
My plan called for putting in at the Fisheating Creek Campground Resort located on highway 27 in Palmdale. The staff at the site were friendly and helpful. The ramp opens onto a sand and mud shallow lake when the water is low. The ground is firm and allows you to easily manage your canoe or kayak. The water is clear but has a dark brown tint from the tannin in the water making is hard to see the bottom if the depth is more that 2 feet deep. The bottom varies from white sand to a dark muck color but is generally firm. I took Morgan, my black Labrador Retriever on the trip, she spent the majority of the trip running the banks and creek that was typically not more than 21 inches in many places.
About 1.5 miles up stream we found a nice campsite and marked the map. At 2 miles we started to run into alligators ranging from 2 to 8 feet in length. The stream became narrower and the current was running faster in narrow eddies making it harder to paddle. We paddled to the 6-mile mark but while there were some interesting places to camp none were as nice as the first campsite so we turned around and paddled back.
During the padding we heard owls and various species of birds in the cypress forest. In some areas the cypress was very dense muting the bright sunlight of a wonderful Florida day. In other areas it opened up and the sunlight lit the tannin water to a brilliant brown.
Fisheating Creek can be planned as a day trip or up to several days. The creek runs for over 40 miles and can be paddled in segments or what ever you would like to do. Palmdale, Florida can be easily found on the map or by using MapQuest.
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