Kayaked the Econlockhatchee today, Sunday, April 18, 2010. I had not paddled the Seminole County Road 419 to Snow Hill Road 8 mile section since January. Tired from Saturday's circumnavigation of Fort DeSoto, and the bike still in the car, it was a perfect day for a car-bike shuttle and down stream only paddle.
Here's a link to the Econ from the Florida Department of Greenways and Trails. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/designated_paddle/Econlock_guide.pdf
I dropped the yak at 419, drove to Snow Hill, then made the 5 mile bike ride back to 419. I was on the water at 9:45
It was overcast, and sprinkled for 30 minutes are so. Not enough to put the alligators into hiding. I saw about 15. Not for long, all went under water upon seeing be. Saw two bald eagles, or maybe the same one twice. Those were adults, perhaps this ones parents. In January, 2 adults were at this nest. Now, the child is home alone.
Other than a large group of paddlers I passed, I had the Econlockhatchee to my self. There were 3 areas with newly downed trees, but I was able to push over and through the obstacles. Only three people on the banks, two at a rope swing, which according to a sign at the 419 launch, is illegal, and a woman walking her dog at the boardwalk just before Snow Hill Road. I wonder if this is the same bald eagle I saw earlier. It did leave its perch near the nest.
I did not stop at the Flagler Trail Bridge, as I often do, not taking chances with the weather, which remained overcast, although the rain stopped.
Did you see the alligator entering the River above? Other then the bald eagles, alligators, and one turtle, there was not a lot of wildlife. No kingfishers, perhaps they've made their summer migration. I usually don't post vulture pics, as they are so common, but today I needed the material.
Of course, right after the vultures I saw a great blue heron. Even without a lot of wildlife (says the man who saw bald eagles and alligators), the Econ, with high sandy banks (at normal water level) tall palms, and twisted live oaks, is a beautiful paddle.
Finally, an alligator out of the water. It went below after the photo.
I landed about 2:00, just over 3 hours four the 8 mile paddle. I took it easy, the only time I paddled hard was when I passed and put some distance ahead of the group I passed. As I landed two separate groups were loading their vessels,4 total, I had no seen them on the water. It drizzled I drove home, after retrieving the bike, my timing was perfect.