Everglades Exploration Network

Anyone heard if the Bear Lake Canoe Trail has been cleared out to East Cape Canal?  Swamp Ape said they were making progress last year. I wonder if it will be open this fall.

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I am very interested in helping, but have to leave early. Would it be possible to use a park canoe and then head back to the car by 2pm?

That should be just fine. 

Umm, yeah, this is awkward but I was not referring to any of the above, nor was I privy to this information.  In fact, I wish I still didn't know. 

What I was referring to is people who go around braille hiking/paddling.  Breaking, cutting without forethought.  Paddle into any of the ditches heading towards Cape Sable and you'll see what I mean.  It's not just there.  People need to understand the effects of their actions.  How often have you hiked just to find someone breaking away branches they could easily have ducked under, made their way around.  We had volunteer, an intern even, who became so excited to be involved in the clearing he started trying to pull a mangrove out using his bare hands.  He was like Elmira (the cartoon character) with her pets; she loved them so much she would smother them.  We were able to stop him but it wasn't pretty.  There are way too many people who believe in manicured landscaping. 

The point is there needs to be balance.  There need to be places where the average person can connect with the wilderness.  If we cannot facilitate this connection we lose our understanding of how to value its delicate nature. 

Gary, I appreciate your response but obviously disagree.  The trail is in better condition now than it was three years ago (certainly not 15)   Those people were back there before it was common knowledge that a road existed.  They fish(ed) illegally, harvest(ed) plants illegally and had/have no understanding, or regards, for the effects of their actions.

Enforcement would lessen the problem, I agree.  Education would help too.  During the period when  regular teams were in the canal the area was visible cleaner.  When we stay away for a while it goes to pot again.  

I don't have all the answers, only my opinions and my experiences.  Come out, maybe we can find some better answers through frank candid discussion.  

"Umm, yeah, this is awkward but I was not referring to any of the above, nor was I privy to this information.  In fact, I wish I still didn't know. "

For the record I have never broken any rules in the park period, well not meaning to. I have run into branches with my Kayak.  Don't feel awkward it was something someone did to me, and was done to hurt me. Keep in mind this park is my life I go all year long, and in the last month have been there over six times, and going.  There is always the need for people to control people.

Thank god I stay away from the Taco Stand!

Also I report all people I see breaking rules to the park via radio, and help those I find lost. The park is the only thing I have, and it is what I will give to my sons one day.

John Bob: candid discussion are good, but I have a date with the sliver fox, and a craw fish called Jim. You got to love the hue of the full moon, and the natives drums......see you on the loops............

We made good progress last Saturday. It took a couple of hours to clear downed trees off the main road. It was a strong west wind and south winds that did the damage. We opened 2 miles of the main road from the paved road to Bear Lake Canal.. then west about another mile or so.
We made good progress last Saturday. It took a couple of hours to clear downed trees off the main road. It was a strong west wind and south winds that did the damage. We opened 2 miles of the main road from the paved road to Bear Lake Canal.. then west about another mile or so. Now the park service can get in there for their services.

Does anyone know what the status of this trail is as of March 2013 or if there are plans to reopen the route?

The canoe trail is open to where Bear and Mud lakes meet. The hiking trail is open. So is the parking area near the trail which is a mile or so from the main paved park rd. That was at New Year holiday.

Thanks Amazon Bill. Are there still plans to try and reopen the route out to Cape Sable?

Yes, there are plans to open it up. Mostly though volunteers working with the Swamp Apes organization. I have heard the portion of the east west canal past Bear Lake can be by-passed. They have built canal plugs out in the north-south portion, which can be seen on Google Earth.

Thanks, I appreciate the information. I hope that one day the trail will be open again. It provides a great way to get to the cape during windy conditions.

Nov 27, 2017 question....is The road open to Bear Lake trail canal and canoe launch? And is Bear Lake Canal open for canoes to get to Mud Lake and Bear lake. I’m thinking of heading out to SpoonBill Pass and Soupdooddle prairie.

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