Everglades Exploration Network

I have a mind to try and reach Robert's Lakes Strand from the Gator Hook Trail on the Monroe Station leg of the Loop. I know the Fl. Scenic Trail runs through the Strand on the eastern end but I have yet to hear of anybody coming in from the west. The first couple of miles of the old Gator Hook logging tram that runs southeast off the Loop has been cleared, but it's all wild after that. The line of the tram is still evident after the cleared path runs out, and I was able to follow it for about another half-mile but it gets pretty boggy in places. Anybody else have any info on this route?

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Swamp Hunter:
aint modern tech fun?  I took your map with the trail outline and the township lines clearly visible and overlayed it on a GE map of the area to match the roads, trail and township lines.  This pretty much nails down your pump island to within 50ft of N25°49'02" and W81°03'52.9" 

Oddly enough, both on Google Maps (online) and on GE, the latest maps show what appears to be a camp set up near your #4.  Hmmmmm

Thats great Shawn.  I dont know how to overlap 2 images but Im comparing the map posted by Megan with my old pre-GPS map and it appears that my estimated Tree stand locations are pretty close. She has #4 marked as Old Tree Stand.  #5 (Cross Roads) was just before the End of Gauntlet. But I had no idea where it was on the map, I could only guess. In the 80s-90s the Benches and Tools were not there yet but it was the last known section of dry elevated tram and the trail, to the pump,went generally due east from there.  


Look under the word DISMANTLED.  There is a leg under the letter N and another past the D.  I think the camp is on one of the legs that branch off to the southeast.. Its hard to see the other legs on my map but I believe they were evenly spaced to harvest the big trees.  Parts of the leg may have been removed as fill became needed elsewhere.  I will have to look at the original 1973 USGS map and try to get the coordinates..  . Im thinking its on one of those legs close to the center of the W..  

ADDED: I remember, on my last trip in the early 90s, exploring the back side of the "island" and discovering what looked like an elevated tram.  I thought at the time, it was the turn SE.  But maybe it wasnt.  Maybe it was a leg.

Dale, the Pump mark on your old map is about where I’ve theorized it to be. Although I’ve never been there I’ve read all your posts and descriptions about the Pump Island and studied the imagery a bit. There appears to be a dry island on the south side of the slough at N25 49.000 W81 03.987. I PM’ed you this coordinate a couple of years ago. See the circled island in the attached picture. I like this imagery from Zillow for this area because it appears this satellite imagery was taken during a very dry season. It shows an excellent contrast between the gray cypress trees and green hardwood trees (along the tram and other areas) compared to GE imagery. Of course, some of the green trees south of the slough might not be hardwoods (although they closely match the color of the tram hardwoods) but could be a cypress dome with deeper water keeping the cypress nice and green during the dry season. The arrow in the circled area points to brownish -yellow mustard colored tree. I believe this mustard colored tree must be some kind of hardwood because it looks very different than the surrounding cypress and its canopy is VERY large if you compare it to a known width like the width of the hardwoods on the tram. This mustard colored tree at N25 49.000 W81 03.987 is where I theorize it to be. From what I can tell it seems to fit your description pretty well. To the north of the mustard colored tree you can see a good shadow line of cypress trees on the edge of the slough which indicates a pretty big difference in tree top elevation along the slough. I think you mentioned that you walked through a clearing before arriving at the pump island or perhaps I saw it in one of your pictures. The shadows along the slough would account for that. Even if it is not the pump island it looks like an interesting island to check out!
I tried to get there once. I was alone and went too far East and then approached it at almost due south and I ran in to deep water at the North side of the slough with impenetrable willows. It was getting late so I had to turn back instead of finding an alternate route.


It would be cool to fly a drone over this area to get a bird’s eye view it but it is my understanding they are not allowed in BCP.

Edited:  I just plugged in Shawns estimate for your Pump mark on the map and it is about 600 feet East of my mustard colored tree, Lol.

That's usually what it boils down to...several days of slogging around blindly...or sitting with a few map resources and narrowing it down...

...Let's talk about Oct/Nov?

Sounds good here.

Thats interesting Chris. Yes I remember you telling me.   And I kept that in my notes.

The Paradise Tree does look kinda yellow according to this..  http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/Pages/simgla/simgla.shtml

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes drones are illegal in the BCNP so that's not an option.  I haven't tried to study online map resources.  But I do have the types of vegetation in my memory.   The first photo shows the trail (arrow) thru a Pond Apple Slough as it gets near the location and we had to climb under and over some. Then we had to wade the left edge of a flag pond to reach the pump.  That was the deepest part.  The flag pond was open to the sunlight and deeper in the center.  The pump was on the edge of the pond. There was a very large cypress knee right next to the pump. Its the largest knee I ever saw so there must have been large cypress trees nearby.  The few Paradise trees weren't large but they were good for shade or a hammock and I noticed the leaf pattern and looked it up in a book...

We used to go in December but we knew the exact path. To wander around in waist deep water is no longer a good idea. It would be much easier Jan or Feb.  Or whenever its dry. The last time I went searching by myself, I got trapped in deep water and it took me hours to re-trace my steps back. 

Thanks for trying to help and for the map searching. I will go with you.  It may not be anything historical. It may just be an old hunters camp.. But its perfectly located as a central rest stop on the Gator Hook Trail or a dry camping spot in an otherwise unforgiving environment. And maybe the NPS will allow it to stay.  

Is it my imagination or are these  logging Tram legs?

I posted here the aerial photos of this place from the 40s that clearly show the trams.  let me see if I can find them.



shawn beightol said:

I posted here the aerial photos of this place from the 40s that clearly show the trams.  let me see if I can find them.

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