We found a true gem on the Hidden Coast…
My friend Robin form Good Time Kayaking and I went up near Steinhatchee early last weekend before our group was to arrive to go scalloping. Getting there a day early was very nice because we had time to explore! We drove around a bit and put our kayaks in at a location that looked promising. We did not see it on any of the tourist sites on the internet or in the books we brought with us but we wanted to take a look anyway.
At first we thought we would just paddle through the marsh grass and the small river would just peter out and end in heavy swamp grass….boy were we wrong! About 10 minutes upstream we started seeing limestone along the shoreline and soon we were checking out inlets formed by these mysterious rocks. We found leopard frogs, fiddle crabs and lots of other little critters. There were many places the water was almost too shallow but soon was deep and still. The water appeared like a mirror before us and it was incredible to not see any homes or signs of human life! We saw only 2 articles of trash the rest of the way up this river. Around each bend we struggled in the afternoon sun to see if we were at the end or if all the green we saw was just a reflection in the water. Turn after turn beckoned us further. We passed over a spring and a few turns later we heard our biggest surprise, rapids! They were not deep or too wide but they looked fun. They were caused by shallow rocks at a forest road crossing. We walked up the road a bit and there was nothing to be seen for miles except marsh and flatland! We continued up the river (after dragging our kayaks past the rapids) only to continue to be amazed again and again at each turn.
Soon though the fallen trees blocked out path and night was beginning to fall so we had to turn back. On our paddle down river we saw a fox come in to drink and enjoyed our ride across the rapids. Robin commented that this was the best paddle that we have ever done, I have to agree!
I apologize for not sharing the location, but with too much human traffic the location would no longer be the true gem that it is. We will gladly guide other kayakers up the river, making sure they give the area the proper respect it deserves. I am hoping to get another trip in there before the end of the year!
I hope you enjoy the photos I am posting with this blog. There were nearly 100 taken that day…it was hard selecting just which ones to post..
Until next time….