Canoe and Kayak Safety | FAQ | Feature Stories: Paddling Along the River
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Flamingo Area Canoe Trails
Nine Mile Pond Loop - 5.2 miles (8.3 km) round trip. Eleven miles (18 km) north of Flamingo. A scenic trail through a shallow sawgrass marsh with scattered islands of mangroves. Watch for alligators, wading birds, and an occasional eagle. Trail marked with numbered white poles. Motors prohibited.
Noble Hammock Trail - 2 mile (3.2 km) loop. Nine miles (14 km) north of Flamingo. This trail winds through a maze of shady mangrove-lined creeks and small ponds. Sharp corners and narrow passageways require good maneuvering skills. Enjoy a "crash" course. Check for low water levels during the dry season. Motors prohibited. A calm trail on a windy day.
Hells Bay Trail - 3.0 miles (4.8 km) to Lard Can campsite; 3.5 miles (5.4 km) to Pearl Bay chickee; 5.5 miles (8.8 km) to Hells Bay chickee. Nine miles (14 km) north of Flamingo. "Hell to get into and hell to get out of," old timers claimed. This sheltered route weaves through mangrove creeks and ponds to a series of small bays beyond Lard Can. Trail marked with more than 160 numbered poles. Motors prohibited from the trailhead to Lard Can. Backcountry permit required for overnight camping. Pearl Bay chickee is wheelchair accessible.
Florida Bay - distance varies. Opportunities abound! Watch birds (particularly at Snake Bight during medium to high tide), fish, or enjoy the scenery of the bay. Visit Bradley Key (during daylight hours only), the only nearby key open to landing.
Bear Lake Canal - 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to Bear Lake, 11.5 miles (18.4 km) one way to Cape Sable. Two miles (3 km) north of Flamingo on the Bear Lake Road. Travel along a narrow, tree-covered historic canal. An abundance of tropical plants and tree species is visible along the trail. Impassable between markers 13 and 17 during the dry season.
Mud Lake Loop - 6.8 mile (10.9 km) loop from Coot Bay Pond, four miles (6 km) north of Flamingo. Enjoy a variety of habitats on this loop connecting the Buttonwood Canal, Coot Bay, Mud Lake, and the Bear Lake Canoe Trail. Birding is often good in Mud Lake. Accessible from the Bear Lake Trailhead or Coot Bay Pond. Motors prohibited on Mud Lake, Bear Lake, and the Bear Lake Canal.
West Lake Trail - 7.7 miles (12.3 km) one way to Alligator Creek. Seven miles (11 km) north of Flamingo. Paddle through a series of large open lakes connected by narrow creeks lined with mangroves. Good alligator and crocodile habitat. West Lake is closed to vessels with motors greater than 5.5 h.p. Motors prohibited from the east end of West Lake to Garfield Bight. Not recommended on windy days due to exposed, rough waters.
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