Everglades Exploration Network

Below is a trip report of my overnight stay at Hells Bay Chickee this past weekend.


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So, far I have only spent one night on the Hell's Bay chickee, but I have been there twice. I have spent three nights on the Pearl Bay chickee. It is an amazing place. Looks like you had a great trip. JRC

Nice! How much water is left on the trail? We were there in mid March and very little water was on the first section. Did you like the vagabond vs a kayak?

This season I spent a few weekends between Lane and Pearl exploring and fishing. We noticed the park is not maintaining the portalets at all. On our last two trips they were so bad they did not even have toilet paper and too full to use. We have sent letters to the park to complain. I hope it is not a sign of maintenance issues going forward with this new superintendent.

If they can't maintain these campsites they should not issue permits for them.

In some parts of the trail, at the beginning, there was about 6-8 inches of water.  For tight twisty trails I believe nothing beats having a 14 foot canoe for which is the reasons I have it as part of my line up. I enjoy getting out and trying different strokes, some of which are shown in the below video.


The portalets was just about full to the top but there was toilet paper. I choose the platform that was up wind from it.  I may be looking to go to Sweetwater chickee sometime next month. From now until October camping is free.


Just try paddling Canadian style down here and folks will come running to save ya!

And I ain't 'fraid to camp in the summer down here neither... let me know if you ever want some company.

Ted, please add your comments to the new super so he knows that the maintenance is not being done. We need to add our voices to ensure the park backcountry sites are kept up. We are lucky we live close by and are not losing much if we have a bad weekend experience at a chickee with unkept facilities. However, some pay a lot of money and use coveted vacation time to visit ENP. At the very least, having a place to go to the bathroom that is not full to the brim should be at minimum required maintenace.

This past winter all trails were not maintained as there was a new plant discovered. Imagine the road to get out of the wind to Bear Lake closed ALL winter? I find this ridiculous.

Glad you are enjoying the solo canoe. Your Vagabond would respond best to sit and switch paddling using a carbon bent shaft paddle. The Canadian stroke is made for tandem canoes. I recommend ZRE and hopefully your canoe has a footbrace?
Forgot to attach video link for the boring but effective in the Everglades, switch technique. You basically switch when the bow veers and you can post or bow rudder in creek paddling. The ultra light ZRE is a joy and so is a footbrace to help power your rotation.


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