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Trip report: Dec. 2012

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge... Paddling in The North Everglades

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge comprises the only surviving portion of the northern Everglades, and as such is important to preserving what's left of this national treasure as well as serving as habitat for wildlife and endangered species. The Refuge includes a 12-mile bike trail along the levee, and a 5.5 mile paddling trail. The launch is one of the best we've seen, easy on and off! (Detailed map and photos below.)

Paddle Everglades, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, kayak, canoe, Florida

Distance: 5.5 miles
Location: Palm Beach County
Difficulty: Easy
Tidal: No
Launch point: At the refuge (off US441, ten miles west of Boynton Beach) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, The Everglades

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Loxahatchee Canoeing  (rentals)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Loxahatchee NWR... Comments and Photos

Fishing is popular, and motor boats share the launch but are not allowed on the paddling trail. During dry season, the trail may not be passable. No shade here, bring sunscreen and lots of water.


Launch Area

At the launch area is parking, a fishing pier, restrooms, and canoe/kayak rental.


On the Paddling Trail

This is truly paddling on the "river of grass," at eye level through sawgrass marsh. After leaving the launch, paddle to the fork and keep right. Follow the arrows and read the interpretative signs.

About Loxahatchee National Wildlife Reserve

The Visitor Center has information about the refuge's wildlife and habitat, a boardwalk and walking trail, and features a virtual airboat ride. A prime birding area with over 250 species of bird, the refuge is home to the endangered snail kite. Other wildlife include alligators, deer, turtles, snakes, and fish.

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