On a hot Sunday morning, I head out to a creek that has long been on my list of rivers to paddle. Two of my kayak paddle buddies join me.
The put-in point that we use for the creek is at Bulow PlantationRuins State Historic Site in Bunnell FL, 3 miles west of Flagler Beach on C.R. 2001 off of SR 100. Note that we notice put-in points further downstream. Note also that the trail loops upstream from the Site, then returns to the trailhead at the Site before continuing on to the Intracoastal waterway, where it ends.
Before the paddle, we walk to the Ruins, which is about a 10-minute walk from the put-in point. There, you will find the coquina stone ruins of an old sugar mill operated by the Bulow family. The ruins were once the site of a prosperous plantation of sugar cane, cotton, indigo, and rice. The plantation came to an end as a result of the Second Seminole Indian War.
While at the Historic Site, we spot some endangered Swallow-tailed Kites flying above.
The paddle to the Intracoastal Waterway and Flagler Beach is 2 hours from the Site. The route requires negotiating winding, narrow, shallow, brackish waters through a lot of sawgrass and palm trees (a grassy coastal marsh characteristic of the Atlantic coast). We notice several great blue herons. Along the way, we spot 3 or 4 large manatees that have come a great distance inland from the ocean, which confuses us since the creek seems too shallow. The guess is that there is a narrow and deeper channel somewhere in the middle of the creek channel.
Paddling back to the Site was much easier, even though it was upstream, as we paddle with the wind on the way back, and the tide is coming in.
Walking our kayaks back to the trucks, we nearly step on a small pigmy rattlesnake which has crawled out onto the dirt road.