On my list too!
See the GMP thread.
The Lost Portage offers a bunch more fun.
Jay, after two trips into Fakahatchee you'll find this crossing elementary, the only issue is you have to
get your feet wet.
How cool is it to pull a paddlers backcountry permit for consecutive nights at Canepatch and Camp Lonesome?
Not many people would try that in one day using the Nightmare. Solo canoeing it's all day for me to
go from Canepatch to Broad River Campsite even with favorable conditions.
On one through trip Tony stayed at Shark River Chickee, the next morning was peak flood tide.
Alternatives: His group paddled at 4 knots up Shark River through the Lost Portage and when they got to
Broad River it was ebb so they did 4 knots out to Highland Beach. That same WW trip the group started at
Pine Island, yup, the Pine Island at the entrance to the park, another Tony original.
Too much fun!
Thanks for the offer Vivian. Terry - always looking for a new adventure. I can see the Shark - Lost Portage - Highland with the right tides - throw in the wrong wind and your hosed.
I did it. On December 21st, I traveled the Lost Portage from Canepatch to Camp Lonesome. I used the information that Terry gave me and followed almost your exact route. What I would like to know is where was all the water? In the sawgrass sections I was able to paddle maybe 50 feet altogether. I have a 16’ sea kayak (loaded with gear). Did y’all have canoes? Some Park volunteers who were aware of the Lost Portage said there should be plenty of water. Some Outward Bound canoers came down from 41 one night and they had at least 4” of water the whole way. Where it go? All pooled up in that area where I sank chest deep into the mud soup? What an adventure. The only birds I saw were the vultures circling me. In the ridge section, I crawled grasping at sawgrass and dragging my kayak with a thin, nylon painter across my hips (you should see the bruises). (I meant to bring a wide strap for this section but forgot. It’s hanging in my horse trailer in Michigan). Collapsed and gave up at least once. Could barely get thru the mangrove “tunnels” at the north end in the dark. It took me almost 8 hours to go those 2 miles. But I made it! PS Don’t know why because I haven’t done it before, but after my dip in the mud soup, I decided to take a selfie. Thought I’d share it with you. If you would like to see any more, you’ll just have to go yourself (and take an empty canoe). :-)
Now THAT'S Everglades backcountry!
With this experience the brochure routes will never be the same,
a slough trip is in your future.
Welcome to the next level.
Awesome! Congratulations on your accomplishment!
That's why it's name is the Lost PORTAGE, you
always have to slog some portion of it.
At least you don't have to throw your boat over your head
like the Widowmaker.
Don’t let my experience discourage you! A canoe or different type, less weighted down kayak might be able to get through easier than mine. Besides, while I was enduring my ordeal of the Lost Portage it was also an incredible beautiful and peaceful passage. All those rest stops just sitting on my kayak to enjoy the silence and magic of the Everglades were worth every bruise and step into mud soup.
The biggest factor in my having to portage rather than paddle is my kayak for a couple reasons. It’s a 16-foot sea kayak (Valley Avocet - plastic) and overloaded when you combine the weight of the gear & paddler (especially the paddler!). It works pretty well in sawgrass or mudflat areas on day trips with minimal gear, but I knew the extra weight of the camping equipment would be a major factor. I had anticipated this and figured I’d be walking most of the way which was fine with me. There is water out there. Sometimes with the wind behind me the kayak was moving faster than me! I have also learned a few tricks with this boat like sitting on the rear cockpit rim/day hatch area and pushing the boat forward with my feet (used this technique to escape the mud between Gopher Key and the deeper water of Charley Creek). But the extra weight and just not enough water stalled the boat this time. I had to pull it. The second factor is form follows function. There’s a reason the Inuit designed kayaks and double bladed paddles, the riverine First Nations/Native Americans designed birchbark canoes and single oar paddles, and the Calusa designed dugout canoes and a pole. My kayak isn’t worth much in the middle of a low water sawgrass prairie, but when the wind and waves kick up on the open water, I wouldn’t want to be in anything else.