Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lake Norris, Blackwater Creek

 Just one other car at the Lake Norris Conservation Area as I put the kayak in at 9 AM.  According to the sign in sheet, that person was fishing, so unless one of the few locals was on the water, I would have Blackwater Creek and Lake Norris to myself for a while.

Blackwater Creek's depth fluctuates greatly with rainfall.  When the Creek is low, there are numerous obstacles to deal with.  Yesterday, a big storm soaked Central Florida.  2.1 inches at the Orlando airport, 1.26 in Winter Park,  an inch in Sorrento- a few miles from Blackwater Creek.  I figured today would be a good day to paddle the short distance to Lake Norris.

I only hit one log on the 25 minute, up Creek paddle to Lake Norris
 Turned left coming out of the Creek

Not surprisingly, the day after a front blew through, it was windy on big Lake Norris.  So, I paddled in the shade and windbreak of the cypress trees that stand in the water, away from the shoreline.
 Trees that provide platforms for osprey nests


Lake Norris is well known for its many osprey nests.  Less known, except to Dave's Yak Tales readers, is the great egret rookery.






Red shouldered hawk.  At the edge of the rookery
 Back to the ospreys




 Turned back at 10:57. Not even half way around the 1100 acre lake

Red maple growing from cypress knee


 Lake Norris got crowded.  3 kayakers paddling through the cypress trees.  It was nice to have it to myself for over 2 hours. 
Distant great egret roost

 Close up
Did this great blue heron adopt?





 Back to Blackwater Creek just before noon.  I had wanted to stop at the only place you can on the Lake, unless you are one of the dozen homeowners or a Boy Scout.  But, I missed the landing through the cypress trees.   On the way out, paddling closer to shore, I had seen it.
So, I held the urge to go and would eat later.


 Paddled past the launch site
 One of two bridges that span Blackwater Creek.  I'll see the other, Saturday.  Kayaking and camping in the Seminole State Forest. Author's note 4-7-14. There are 4 bridges over the Creek. Others at State Road 44 and Lake County Road 44A.  Always seek a secondary source to anything I write.

Had to turn back

Getting busy at the launch.
Which was a bummer, because I had to pee.
No facilities.  Went along side the car.  After unloading, and loading the kayak, I went for a walk
 The gate is new.  Not the road gate, but one where you walk through.

New signage



 One must contact the Lake County Water Authority to use the canoes
This is where I had planned on stopping while kayaking

 Camp site



An hour walk

There is a sign in sheet. 4 people/groups filled it out. An angler, 2 groups of horseback riders, and me. I saw 6 other kayakers. Not one signed the sheet. If you have a sign in sheet where you paddle, sign it. Or else how will the authorities know we use, and need access too, the water?


Luis said...

Did some research on this it does not look like a permit is needed to kayak here. Is that correct?

Dave said...

Correct. But feel free to pay me.

Luis said...

^^^^^I do not have enough money to re-pay you. You lead me to this. I never said thank you. Thanks Master Kayaker Dave!!!!!

Dave said...

You're welcome. Your photos are better than gold.