Total Pageviews

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hillsborough River

Hillsborough River Gator

Last Friday was my last official  Friday off under my now past Flex Schedule. Lat night decided to take today off, since last Friday was a bust because the weather, and went to the Tampa area and kayaked at the Hillsborough River. It was an unusual day at the river, that was incredibly high due to all the rain that TS Debbie left.

Hillsborough River was really high after as the result of TS Debbie

Put In / Take Out: Trout Creek Park. Fee is $2. Check one of our previous posts about the Hillsborough River for more details. We did go from Trout Creek Park to Morris Bridge Park, our usual route when we kayak here. No visit to Trout Creek this time.


First of all, let me apologize for updating this post later than I said first. It happened that something did bite me yesterday when we were taking a break at the Morris Bridge Park. A bug I never saw, but felt, gave me a kiss and my right hand is now swollen. It started to swell yesterday and my wife gave me something in any case of allergic reaction that put me to sleep. Woke up at 4:45AM today. That being said let us keep going with yesterday's trip.


To be fair, the high level of the waters made this trip less than stellar. Wading birds were scarce and the it was not easy to paddle up river. Thanks to somebody, I can only assume the guys from the outpost, marked the way with ribbons. Thanks to whoever did because it would have been really hard without that. The river has flooded everything and it was hard to recognize the main canal in the bends. At other areas just the common sense was enough but it was a great help to have the ribbons. The flooding also brought a mystic view to the paddle. At some areas the reflections made a special mirror effect.

Mirror mirror...which is the most beautiful river?

Well, there is not too much to say about this trip other than it was less than stellar. Not too many people in the water. But one of the ones we saw was kayaking with a guacamayo, which we thought was odd. We made the trip to Morris Bridge in a little less than two hours and while the current was  not a problem in low ground areas, it was challenging fast in the high ground areas where the main canal was better defined. A sluggish 13 foot kayak did not make it any easy. At Morris Bridge Park did go for a walk at the boardwalk and that is when the thing that has my right hand swollen now happened. On our way down river we saw a grand total of three gators, a record low for is at the Hillsborough.

Do not ask. I will not tell.

Now let us go to the pics. This is taking too much effort with only two fingers available to write...

Ibis works as doorman at Trout Creek

Osprey nest

Little Blue Heron

Osprey's lunch break


Little Blue Heron got lunch

No such a thing as an easy meal

Little Blue Heron

Red Bellied Woodpecker at Morris Bridge Park



Red Bellied Woodpecker

Carolina Wren


Great Egret



Red Shouldered Hawk


Working to id this one








Water up to the observation deck at Trout Creek Park

And a few scenic pics to close this one...

And that is it for this one. Not much variety in the wildlife pics and a harder than usual paddle. If you are planning to paddle here you may want to wait for the waters to recede a bit. Thanks for reading and hope you come back soon so we can share the Views From Our Kayak.

Scene at the Hillsborough River


  1. Love the Carolina Wren---you got mooned!

  2. Maybe it wanted me to see its best angle.

  3. Paddling high water can be interesting. An excerpt, a bit long, about my first attempt to paddle up Blackwater Creek.

    Back to what I thought was the
    entrance to Blackwater Creek. I paddled over the
    weeds, then came to the log blocking the way. The log
    decreased in size as an alligator nosily fell off into
    the water. In a year of normal water level, the log
    would be a formidable obstacle. However, the water is
    so high it was easy to paddle into the cypress trees
    and go around the obstruction. I was now in Blackwater
    Creek. The narrow creek was full of obstacles to
    paddle over, duck under, or detour into the cypress
    swamp. It was hard to tell where the creek ended and
    the swamp began. After taking a detour, then listening
    to screeching hawks, seeing one fly through the trees
    I came to a halt. I was not in the creek. Have to
    backtrack. Oh, oh, where is the creek? Time to retrace
    my steps. A beautiful purple flower grew from a
    downed tree. Paddled some more. There's that darned
    purple weed again. Must be the other way. Got stuck
    on some wild orange tree limbs. That's how high the
    water is. Knew I had to go slightly northeast, follow
    current. More dead ends. The dense cypress swamp
    beginning to look like something from the Brothers
    Grimm, dark, foreboding, twisted branches, vines and
    jagged cypress knees poking through the water.
    Finally, after at least a half hour, I was back in
    Blackwater, headed for the Wekiva,

    1. It was interesting. Wifey warned me that if we were not able to find a ribbon we were going back. Thanks to the ribbons we did not have it as bad as yours. Wifey would not have tolerated your type of extended adventure very well.

    2. Wifey is smarter than I. I'm so dumb I'm going to the Hillsborough tommorrow afternoon. Figure it has to have dropped a half inch or so since Friday

    3. I do not know if she is smarter than you but know she is smarter than me. I would keep going until there is no doubt I am lost. She has a very short leash on me because she knows. Looking forward your tale Master Dave. Curious on how the river has changed in less than a week.

  4. See any snakes hanging off the trees, usually snakes and other critters go high when the water gets high.

    1. No. Did not see any snakes or other critters but felt one. Got bitten by something I never saw in the right hand. Saturday morning my hand was twice its was UGLY.