Everglades Exploration Network

Walking the L-28 levee from Tamiami Trail to Big Cypress

I was walking around the new (to me) boat ramp at the nexus of the L-28 levees just off the Tamiami Trail last week. One of the levees is stick-straight and goes directly north, ending at the Raccoon Point pinelands in the Big Cypress - according to this history:  http://www.fgcu.edu/bcw/Restore/History/History_L28.htm

 

Has anyone here tried to walk it, or to paddle the L-28 canal? It would be 11 miles each way.

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I worked with the crew from Ellis Tower that erected the microwave tower for Motorola back in the 70s on L-28. We drove to work everyday on the levee. Deer used to run in front of our truck in the morning. We needed to get a crane out to the end and someone had to walk in front of it to guide it the entire way. I was a kid back then so I cant tell you how long it took to walk because I dont remember. Should be an easy 1 day trip and back.  I do remember the view from on top of the tower was great.

Bicycle.

It's about 25 miles roundtrip to the crossover & back.

Long bike ride, Loooooong walk.

The crossover is one of the thickest concentrations of gators you can find. I don't know why the gather there, but they do consistently. Beautiful place to hang out, cool off & get ready to go back. Or you can continue a couple of miles north from there along the other side of the canal, till you get to the breaks, the best of which is nicknamed the "Swimmin' Hole" by the airboaters. Come by on a hot afternoon, & it'll be full of boats & soaking folks!

They call  the crossover the crossover because for the 1st stretch of the levee, the canal is on the west side of the levee, after the crossover, the canal is on the east side of the levee.

For you fans of Bravo out there. The crossover is where the Kardashians got "lost" and were "rescued" by Gator Gary, A/K/A Gary Matthews of Airboat USA...

What... you guys missed that episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians? They were driving from Miami to Tampa and somehow got through three locked gates to run out of gas at the crossover. Hey, it's more than reality, it's reality TV! 

as you can see, the levee goes straight, the canal crosses over...

I can't speak to walking the levee, but I have canoed out to the crossover many times. It is a beautiful paddle, with a few nice rest stops/ camp site on the east side. And as mentioned, easily the highest concentration of 'gators I've ever seen.

The canal is interrupted about 6 times by shallow filled-in areas that keep most of the bass boaters out. The levee blocks the wind if its honking out of the east. Looking west it's pure cypress swamp heaven. If all the plans to rescue the Everglades ever get finished, the canal (and levee) will be erased.

Don't walk it. Get a canoe and enjoy it while it is still available.

Land of the Lost?       http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1503425/

yakmaster said:

For you fans of Bravo out there. The crossover is where the Kardashians got "lost" and were "rescued" by Gator Gary, A/K/A Gary Matthews of Airboat USA...

What... you guys missed that episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians? They were driving from Miami to Tampa and somehow got through three locked gates to run out of gas at the crossover. Hey, it's more than reality, it's reality TV! 

There you go Dale!

You got a sat dish out in bear island?!?!?

Thank you kindly, Dale, Yakmaster and Gary. The pinelands were the big lure to me but now I sure would like to see the Swimmin' Hole and cypress swamp heaven.

 

So people like to swim/soak where there's also the highest concentration of gators... interesting. I met a guy in Palmetto Bay yesterday - we were planting native grasses with the NPS - who was going for a dip in the pond of the old Burger King headquarters where two big Asian crocs hang out. I told him when I visit Hardy Matheson Preserve I'm always tempted to swim in Snapper Creek. He encouraged me to give it a try, as the crocs there are small and not dangerous! :)

It's a couple of miles from the crossover to the swimming hole.

It is nice out there.

 No.  Im in Fort Lauderdale for a couple more weeks.


yakmaster said:

There you go Dale!

You got a sat dish out in bear island?!?!?

Do not swim in dirty water. Only swim in clear water where you can see the bottom.

M.A.P. said:

  I'm always tempted to swim in Snapper Creek.  

That's what this guy (who swims with crocs) told me too. I wasn't sure why - is the theory that they only bite folks who accidentally step on them?  Thank you for the advice.

What about the soakers at the Swimmin' Hole? I'm not being argumentative, I really want to learn. I'm amazed and intrigued that people have the cojones to swim in the Everglades.

I always figure its the one you dont see, that will get you. So you need to be able to see into the water and always look in the culverts.. I have stepped on them before but wasnt bit. One time I was knocked completely off my feet, in early morning darkness while deer hunting, but still not bitten. Like most predators, gators prefer sneak attacks, often from underwater, usually at the waters edges. Always be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye out and poke them with a stick or get out of the water if they get too close. Do not allow them to get close to you.. Be on the lookout for large submerged gators.  Forget swimming if there is an unusually large aggressive gator in the water. Be particularly aware at dusk or at night.  I used to swim at night probably not a good idea. Hopefully gators will have a natural fear of humans at these types of  swimming holes. Never swim where gators are fed.

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