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Canoeing & Kayaking

Fisheating Creek, Palmdale FL
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Copyright 2000 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 9/2000
  • Email:
  • Location: Palmdale FL west of Lake Okeechobee
  • Class: Typically flat water creek
  • Distance Paddled: 6 miles round trip (one can go further)
  • Water Level: Fisheating Creek may only be paddled easily during higher water levels. If the water level is too low, nearby paddles are Lake Placid or Arbuckle Creek

  • Water: fresh, tannic blackwater
  • Wildlife: Alligators, turtles, turkey buzzards, rails, common moorhens, coots, snipe, Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Anhinga, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbill, wild turkeys, hornets (swallowtail kites are in abundance in late July just downstream of the put in)

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: The entrance to the put in / take out area is on the west side of Route 27 in Palmdale, just north of the intersection of Routes 27 and 29 on the west side of Lake Okeechobee.
  • GPS: N 26 degrees 56.248' W 81 degrees 19.127'
  • Fee: none (but a concession is to open soon after this posting)
  • Description: dirt ramp
  • Parking: adjacent unpaved (but a paved lot may open soon)
  • Facilities: restroom, picnic tables under beautiful oaks, campground concession to open soon, nearby diner at Palmdale Store just north

What We Saw

Fisheating Creek is the only remaining pristine stream feeding Lake Okeechobee. I found it to be one of the most beautiful paddles I've ever done. This is the first day trip where I shot all 48 photos with my camera and still wanted more.

The state of Florida recently bought remaining private lands along the creek upstream to preserve it as a multiple use wildlife management area. The creek is usually navigable for over 10 miles upstream, depending on water levels.

Tannic acid from vegetation creates the blackwater, which enhances reflections of the sky along the paddle as at left.

We headed straight forward from the put in to go upstream. If you head left, you'll go downstream, which we found not as interesting at this time of year. In July, however, birds in the downstream marshes are worth the trip if the water level is high enough for the trip. The current is usually not apparent at the put in.

The character of the creek changes often, including hardwood hammocks, grass marsh, Cyprus swamp, and open stretches of blackwater.

We suggest packing insect repellent just in case.

Especially in the summer, watch for thunderstorms especially in the afternoons.

Red bromeliads bloom (photo at right) on many trees along the route.

Flocks of birds flew just in front of us about 2 miles upstream.

Be careful of cypress knees just below the surface, especially when the water is low.

There are a number of locations where the creek takes multiple channels which usually rejoin upstream. If you reach a dead end, backtrack to the split in the creek and try the other channel.

You can land at a number of fairly dry banks along the route where you can also camp if there is no open hunting season.

Campgrounds must be used during hunting seasons for safety. They are designated with silver reflector tapes as shown at right. This campground closest to the put in is at

GPS: N 26 degrees 55.914' W 81 degrees 20.678'

Wildlife is abundant along the paddle. Birds like the Anhinga sunning itself in the photo at top are plentiful.

We had a small alligator swimming vigorously away from us ahead of our kayak for several minutes heading downstream. Watch for colorful turtles like the one below and hornet nests like the one below right.

If you're a photographer, take plenty of film on this gorgeous gem of a creek.