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GUIDED PADDLE TOURS

BLACKWATER CREEK
KAYAK TOUR

TO KATIES LANDING

Participants should be in good physical shape and have had previous paddling experience. This is not always an easy paddle sometime there are obstacles that must be carried over

10-mile paddle that includes a riverside picnic and shuttle back to the start point.

The Blackwater Creek is for those paddlers who enjoy a bit more adventure and love serious wilderness.

 

The creek flows through an ancient, maybe prehistoric, cypress swamp. Born on the waters of Lake Norris, the creek stretches for over twenty miles, eventually emerging onto the Wekiva River just upstream from the St. Johns River.

We’ll paddle the last five shady and twisting miles that are absolutely gorgeous.

 

Upon reaching the confluence with the Wild and Scenic Wekiva River, we will paddle 3.5 miles upstream on Wekiva river to Katies Landing. Expect to encounter otters, alligators, wading birds, owls, and the occasional black bear.

Min Person(s)

4

$ / Person

125

Miles

8

Hours

4-5

ABOUT THE BLACKWATER CREEK TOUR

Blackwater Creek Kayaking

The Wekiva River System, where you find the Blackwater Creek, is a well-known area in Florida. This is because it is one of the two rivers in Florida that have been classified as Wild and Scenic by the federal government, and it is also a favorite destination for kayaking trips.

The Wekiva River system, however, consists of more than just these carefully navigated kayak routes. One of those areas that people often ignore is Blackwater Creek.

The Blackwater Creek is a tributary of the Wekiva River that meanders through the area and empties into Lake Norris. Without exaggeration, it is one of the most beautiful sites in Florida for outdoor recreation and watersports activities.

People who have kayaked on the and Lake Norris Blackwater Creek have used words like "exquisite" and "pristine," as well as "great photographic setting" to describe the area.

Blackwater Creek has a total length of twenty miles before it reaches the Wekiva River; its headwaters are located in Lake Norris. It is also considered "wild and gorgeous" throughout most of its length. This place is like Disneyland for people who love being outside.

You can paddle on towards two locations: one that will take you to Lake Norris and another that will take you to a much more isolated area, where the Blackwater and the Wekiva rivers meet.

In this article, we will explain in detail why you should visit this lovely outdoor location for kayaking.

What Makes Blackwater Creek a Good Place to Visit?

Blackwater Creek is a 19-mile-long river that flows through Eustis, Florida. Hillsborough County made the purchase of the Blackwater Creek Nature Preserve between the years 1997 and 2003 using funds from the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) and the Florida Communities Trust (FCT).

This 2,200-acre preserve is home to some of the best-preserved instances of mesic pine flatwoods and blackwater streams that are dominated by longleaf pine. Additionally, there many species of hardwood hammocks, cypress domes, freshwater marshes, and wet prairies scattered throughout the preserve.

A significant portion of Blackwater Creek flows through the heart of Seminole State Forest and finally joins the Wekiva River to the east.

The path is small and densely forested on both sides but is nevertheless beautiful to behold. The tree canopy along the riverbanks serves to shield you from the Florida sun and keep you cool.

You can also travel west to the southwest corner of Seminole State Forest, in addition to heading east towards Wekiva River.

While canoeing along Blackwater Creek, there will be plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife. Otters, ibis, turtles, and alligators are prevalent in this region. So, if you are a wildlife lover, you will find this place attractive.

However, as you move through the area, ensure you keep quiet. Otherwise, your nose might frighten the animals and reduce your chances of spotting them. 

Blackwater Creek is also a good spot for fishing. So, if you enjoy fishing, bring your equipment with you. Numerous species of fish inhabit the waters. The only problem is that you may need a fishing license to fish here, like in other areas of Florida.

What is It like to Paddle down Blackwater Creek and into Lake Norris with a Kayak?

This breathtaking kayaking route is tucked away within Lake Norris Conservation Area. The route is a preserve that covers 3,660 acres and is located in the eastern part of Lake County.

Right off Lake Norris Road is the trailhead that can be accessed by kayakers, hikers, equestrians, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

At the location of the launch area, you will notice that Blackwater Creek is a thin stream whose water is so dark that it acts as a mirror to the branches that are arched overhead. You have two options for paddling. You can either paddle upstream against a minor current if you leave the launch location and head to the left. Alternatively, you can paddle downstream on Blackwater Creek for about twenty or thirty minutes; the creek might be difficult to paddle.

Within a distance of a mile, you can reach Lake Noris from Blackwater Creek. However, that short distance will take you to a beautiful, unforgettable place. The plant cover in the area is dense, and the water reflects all of it, giving you the impression that you are surrounded by lush green vegetation.

The shore is flanked by cypress trees that are emerging from the murky water that surrounds the river. As you travel, you will likely see wild animals who have come out to enjoy the beautiful scenery like you.

Not everyone is lucky enough to see these animals, though. But then, you will have a better opportunity to encounter wild animals if you visit during the week or early in the morning.

You can paddle in among the dwarf cypress trees that are growing along the lake's side just as the river begins to empty into Lake Norris. All of the cypress trees are distinct from one another; their trunks are oddly twisted, and some of them have oddly fat bases and gaps in their trunks.

Depending on when you visit, Blackwater Creek has different highlights that make the place wonderful.

If you visit this area during fall, you will be treated to a beautiful scene as the leaves on the cypress trees take on a golden and orange hue that beautifies the river. During winter, the naked branches of the cypress trees are the focal point of the river.

The beautiful branches create a spectacular view as they stand out starkly against the clear blue sky during the winter months.

When spring arrives, the cypress trees begin to reveal the bright greens characteristic of springtime in northern climates.

What is it like to Paddle down Blackwater Creek and into the Seminole Forest Using a Kayak?

Paddling up Blackwater Creek within the Seminole State Forest is another way to enjoy Kayaking in Blackwater creek. The Seminole State Forest is located around five or six miles east of Lake Norris, where you may launch a kayak.

The beauty of this place is you will be sharing the pristine wild stream with the alligators and birds.

As you kayak through the river, you will notice it is not a popular tourist destination. This is because if you are Kayaking to Blackwater Creek through the Seminole State Forest, you will need to make an appointment in advance. After your booking is successful, you will be given a code to access the gates at the launch location. 

You may not need to worry about this if you book with a professional tour guide like Wekiva Outfitters. They will handle your bookings and reservations for you. They may also help you with finding the right Kayak for your trip.

This comes as a plus for you if you prefer tourist locations that are not crowded. Because the individuals you'll see here are those who made an effort to come, you won't ever come across large crowds.

Final Thoughts 

Kayakers of all skill levels will find Blackwater Creek an enjoyable paddling destination due to the creek's moderately low difficulty levels. Because there are sections of the river that are somewhat narrow, novices should go slowly and carefully as they negotiate the curves in the river.

If you are interested in having a peaceful vacation by yourself, this is an excellent location to visit. However, if you want a trip that you will enjoy, you should go with a professional tour guide like Wekiva Outfitters.

Wekiva Outfitters are a professional tour guide company in the area that helps people makes the best of their trips. They have tour guides with good knowledge of the site and can give you all the information you need to have an excellent expedition in the area.