Location: Gainesville, Fl
GPS Coordinates: 29.618037, -82.253027
Well, it’s been 8 weeks since there’s been any activity on this blog. Yep, it must be summertime in Florida. It’s usually too hot and humid to do any hiking, biking, kayaking or camping. Julie and I did decide to get an early Sunday morning start and try to get out on the water and do some paddling. Back in July 2010, we had tried the Potano Kayak trail. This trail circles Newnan’s Lake in east Gainesville and then follows the Prarie creek that flows out of the south part of of the lake.
We bypassed the circling of Newnan’s Lake as that would be way to much paddling on a warm summer morning and instead headed straight south to Prairie Creek. We came across a few small gators as we made our way from the boat ramp. Entering the creek we noticed that the current was much stronger than the last time we did this paddle. The Gainesville area has seen a lot of rain in the past few months and as a result the lake level is way up and the current much stronger. But we did decide that we could make our way back against the current. So, we decided to keep going and see how far we could get. Back in 2010 we had to turn around at about the 1.25 mile mark because of a downed tree across the creek with no way around.
We passed Kate’s Fish Camp (seen below), but it looked fairly quiet on this Sunday morning .
We then passed under the Highway 20 bridge and came to the location when the Gainesville-Hawthorne biking trail crosses the creek. The last time we did this trip we were able to pass under the bike trail bridge, but not this time as the water was way too high. So, we had to portage about 100 yards to the far side of the bridge. Here we were able to put back in and continue on.
With the water level being so high, the water was out of the river channel and flooded the wooded areas that surrounded prairie creek. At times this was helpful as it allowed us to get by trees that were down on our path. Unfortunately, we came upon the same tree that stopped us three years ago. There was no easy way around and the current was pretty strong, so we decided to turn around. Foiled again…darn!
Julie and I do want to try and kayak more of this river. So our new plan is to start at very south end of the kayak trail and see how far back up river we can make it. Maybe we’ll do that something this fall as the weather cools.
Julie heading down Prairie Creek
This is the tree that finally did us in. No easy way around that we could find.
Some water lotus flowers on Newnan’s Lake
A water lotus seed pod.
Heading back to the boat ramp ending our day on the water.
And as always, here’s the GPS track of our paddle.Potano Paddling Trail at EveryTrail
Here’s a short video from today’s time on the water.