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Trip report: Jan. 2012

Fisheating Creek... Paddling near Lake Okeechobee

The beauty of Fisheating Creek near Palmdale absolutely blew us away, a magical place! Flowing through cypress swamp, the creek's name should be Cypress Majesty or something similar. The creek, a major water source of Lake Okeechobee and its only free-flowing tributary, was in private hands and thus undeveloped for many years and is now managed by the State of Florida. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Fisheating Creek, South FL paddling

Distance: Ingrams Crossing launch to Palmdale - 16.5 miles; Burnt Bridge launch to Palmdale - 8 miles
Location: Glades County (Palmdale)
Difficulty: Moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points: Fisheating Creek Outpost (state-licensed concessionaire) on US27 at Palmdale; public ramp on FL78 near Lake Okeechobee. Shuttle from the Outpost to launches at Burnt Bridge and Ingrams Crossing. (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Sebring, Lake Okeechobee

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Fisheating Creek Outpost  (rentals, shuttle)

Sebring Kayak Tours  (rentals, tours)

Fisheating Creek... Comments and Photos

The 52-mile stream flows through cypress swamps, lakes, and marsh and is mostly contained within the 18,000 acre Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) - an environmentally critical area with 27 rare species living in the watershed. Within the wildlife preserve are camping, fishing, birding, hiking, and picnicking. Primitive campsites are located along the creek for overnight trips.


Launch at Burnt Bridge

Because the only put-ins upstream are on private property, it's necessary to use the state-sanctioned concessionaire at Palmdale to reach upper Fisheating Creek. We took the shuttle to Burnt Bridge for an 8-mile paddle downstream (a 16-mile option leaves from Ingram's Landing).


Burnt Bridge to Palmdale - 8 miles

The ride is pristine - a real wilderness experience - and alternates between wide lakes, narrow streams, and through cypress swamp, with many spots to pull off for picnicking. We were thankful for the directional markers as the creek branched out in different directions at several points. On this segment, motor traffic was limited, some areas were quite shallow.


More on the creek

More photos, just because the creek is so gorgeous and hard to pick just a few.


Fisheating Creek Outpost

Launch at the Outpost for an out-and-back paddle. Fisheating Creek Outpost at Palmdale is the state concessionaire providing rentals and shuttle services plus camping, RV hook-ups, picnicking, bathrooms and showers as well as a camp store. There is an approved swimming lake at the campground - swimming in the creek is not recommended due to many alligators.


Wildlife on Fisheating Creek

Wildlife along the creek include deer, turtles, wild hogs, black bears, eagles, wading birds, and some of the biggest alligators we've seen. Florida panther have also been spotted. 

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