While on spring break, Debi and I paddled a mile or two on the Loxahatchie River near Palm Beach FL. This is a National Wild and Scenic River, and it did not disappoint.
There is a rental place at the put in. Normally you can go upstream to a complex of interconnected waterways, or down, but due to the recent drought our only choice was downstream. The river is very similar to Hitch Pond Br in DE, for those few of you who have paddled that, or the upper Pocomoke from Whiton Crossing down to Porters. Narrow, twisty, lots of bald cypress trees and knees, a slight current, tannin-stained water. But with palm trees and alligators. Yeah, we saw several gators, including a big one with an empty eye socket. It would be an inviting stream to swim or wade in were it not for the gators.
Within 200 yards of the put in, we portaged a log dam. Too little water over it to run, but it can be run at higher water for south Florida's only whitewater. Just below, we saw a pair of limpkins on the bank that were completely uninterested in us. We got within 10 feet and took dozens of photos.
We continued on, enjoying the big live oaks draped with Spanish moss and the fan palms. We had good looks at a pileated woodpecker. We also paddled under a tree decorated with a barred owl who merely looked at us. Again, we were 10 feet away and spent 5 minutes shooting photos.
The rental place closed at 5 pm, so we turned a paddled back. Only if you have your own boats and set shuttle could you do a one way. All rentals paddle back. I imagine weekends are terribly crowded for this reason, but for us on a weekday with low water, 90 degree temps, and the last rental out of the day, we had a glorious trip.
Had we had time to go farther, there is another dam at mile 3 and a small interesting park to get out at, once used by a local trapper. After that the river turns tidal and is lined by mangroves for the remaining 4 miles or so to a take out at Jonathan Dickinson SP on the ocean.
I'd love to have had more time, gone slower and farther, and really enjoyed this little scenic creek.