Looking for a shortcut - rather than paddling 9 miles from West Lake to Alligator Point and Garfield Bight would like to find a shorter and more interesting route. Have read about Still Creek to Alligator Point route but can't seem to find details after searching this site. Goal is to explore Alligator Creek and other creeks on Garfield Bight. Can anyone help me with this? Don't mind paddling 20+ miles but a shorter route would leave more time for exploring.
Bob, turn east between Noble Hammock markers 60 and 61 at 13.566'N and 48.865'W
you can't miss it just follow the obvious creek. My mom went on a ranger led trip
down Still Creek in the 1960's and its been marked in some way since
before I started paddling it in the 1980's. Local canoe outfitters used Still Creek
back then since it provides an excellent safer alternative to paddling West Lake long ways.
It also makes a great short group paddle from Noble Hammock Landing to the West Lake ramp
or vice-versa depending on the wind direction. The short run where it tightens up just before
coming out in West Lake called The Chute is especially entertaining. Special thanks to the
invasive team for the on-going Brazilian pepper treatments at the mouth of the creek and West Lake.
It's fairly deep, the creek stays paddleable as long as Noble Hammock Loop is paddleable.
Pack a picnic basket and enjoy the history of traveling Willie Nobles' original Noble Hammock Canoe Trail.
Thanks Terry! Probably get to paddle it this sunday - Bob
The trip Terry describes is a great half day with a second car or bike stashed at West Lake. If continuing to Garfield Bight and Flamingo, watch the tides. Garfield cannot be paddled or walked at low tide or when the water is blown out.
Thanks Geoffrey - I think we'll start early, go to alligator creek, and depending on our energy level and tides maybe paddle around Garfield Bight creeks, then head back to the put in at Noble Hammock. I'll check the tides so we don't get stranded on outgoing at Garfield. I know you can't walk there - marl is soft and deep. Tide chart shows low tide just before 5pm on Sunday (at flamingo) so it may be an issue. East Cape high tide is about 90 minutes prior to Flamingo. Wonder what the time difference is between Flamingo and Garfield? NOAA says NE wind around 15 kts. Should be good if we can get to Alligator before noon. Looking forward to the big crocs.
Thanks guys - had a great trip. Actually took quite a bit longer paddling Noble Hammock trail to Still creek to West Lake due to the circuitous route but it was also much more interesting. Lots of orchids, fish, birds. Went through Long Lake and the Lungs to alligator Creek and Garfield which had LOTS of birds including thousands of ducks (Blue Wing Teal?), various herons, egrets, spoonbills and quite a few stilts which I don't see very often. Brother Tom was paddling close to the shore in Alligator Creek and spooked a big gator which had to sprint straight toward him to get to the water and gave him a good start - dove under his boat at the last second. We didn't get to Garfield until about 3 p.m. and the tide had been running out for a few hours so we didn't try to cross Garfield - maybe next time. Also on the way back we decided to paddle West Lake boat ramp and walk to the car at Noble Hammock instead of Still Creek in the dark. Not very buggy except when I drove back to the West Lake boat ramp a little after sunset some folks there needed a jump, I left the car lights on and the skeeters jumped us good while I jumped the car. Dawn to dusk paddle - great day!
After the Paurotis Pond to Lard Can trek on Saturday, two of us headed to Nobles Hammock and Still Creek on Sunday. We diverted off the white line in the photo and followed a creek that was 2-3 feet deep and flowing south. It was narrow most of the way, with markings of an old historic looking canal. The bank was steep actually vertical in several places and the creek say 10 feet wide at the most. The tree canopy was older looking bay and white mangrove that created a cathedral type of look. Very cool indeed. Often times the white line trail was seen crisscrossing our blue trail. The white trail was wider, shallower and cloudier water.