This canoe trail explores part of the unique Northern Everglades ecosystems in A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Along the 5.5. mile waterway, you will see four distinct marsh communities: sloughs, wet prairies, sawgrass ridges, and tree islands. The primary purpose of this refuge is to maintain an optimum habitat for wildlife species native to the Florida Everglades and provide wintering habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl.
Canoeing at Loxahatchee is an adventure.
All canoeist and kayakers will be outfitted with a life preserver and paddle in the rental. We do recommend the following for comfort on your trip as well.
Forget something, no worries most of these items are for sale at our rental booths.
All canoeists or kayaker must always have a personal flotation device on and children ages 5 and younger, must wear a flotation vest.
The trail begins at the brown canoe/kayak trail sign beside our rental booth. Approximately one-half mile into the trial, it will fork and is marked by an “ENTER” sign pointing to the right indicating the beginning of the approximately 5 miles counterclockwise circle. Along the trail you will encounter several interpretation signs. The only location where you may get out of the vessel is about 2.2 miles into the trail at the floating platform.
It is recommended that you take the following items with you: bottled water, sun and rain protection. Naturally, you will also want to consider your camera and binoculars.
Periodically, stop paddling and enjoy the quiet of the Everglades. Wildlife will probably hear you before you see them. Depending upon one’s experience and desire to occasionally stop and enjoy nature, the whole 5.5mile trip typically takes between 3 to 4 hours total. Our current record for the 5.5-mile course is 2 Hours and 47 Mins. All trail visitors should plan on returning to the launch area at the agreed-on time of rental.
We offer a shorter version of this course referred to as “The Needle” that is just about an hour in length, leaving you plenty of time to explore other areas around the course at your leisure.
ALLIGATORS ARE SAFE…. FROM A DISTANCE!
Yes, there are plenty of alligators in the refuge and near our course and trails: however, whether you see them may depend upon such factors as water levels and weather conditions. Most refuge alligators are not aggressive and will avoid close contact with people. However, since they can move over a short distance, have powerful jaws, and lots of teeth, close encounters can be potentially very dangerous. We recommend a safe distance of 15 meters.
Treat all alligators with the respect that all large predators deserve. Do not harass or threaten them, nor attempt to feed them. In general, try to avoid practices that may encourage them to approach humans. Admire them from a safe distance and keep them wild.