Slough paddling adjacent to
Shark Valley in the Everglades!
Usually the Shark Valley tram road on the north end of Everglades National Park is busy with hikers, bicyclists and tourists at this time of year. However the fall of 2020 has presented record high water levels in the Glades, enabling some unique paddling and photography opportunities throughout! At Shark Valley for instance, everything is underwater and because of this the entrance is currently closed to visitors. However the Park itself remains open to valid pass holders and is accessible by paddle craft. I took advantage of the unusually high water levels to kayak the slough and prairies adjacent to the tram road. I did not paddle on the tram road itself, and did not make use of any visitor services. I did make brief stops along the way and later had a random chance surprise meeting with a fellow Everglades explorer!
Aerial view paddling at Shark Valley next to the flooded tram road in December 2020.
“Meeting of the minds on the slough”
Except for periodic overhead airplanes, it’s very quiet, especially since there’s nobody else out there – or so I thought! As I was sitting in the boat getting some underwater shots near the road, I heard a kind of “clank” sound nearby. This is a very distinct sound, that of a paddle hitting the side of a boat. I turn around, and lo and behold it’s a guy in a canoe poling towards me! Looking again I recognize the hat, and immediately thought it must be James Adams whom I’ve met once before briefly at Flamingo. I’ve known of James for years online as he’s done some epic exploits and trips in the Glades. Sure enough this one was no exception and he was on day six, paddling up the Shark River Slough from Flamingo some 60 miles away!
We chatted briefly on the side of the tram road and took some pics. Turns out he was continuing his paddle all the way up to Broward across Water Conservation Area 3, to Everglades Holiday Park. What a trip!!
Check out his site at: Florida Canoe Adventures.
Aerial view of the Shark Valley tram road completely underwater as I have never seen it before!
This December 2020 afternoon also marked a random chance encounter with another intrepid Everglades explorer, James Adams of floridacanoeadventures.com.
James had spent the past six days paddling and poling up the slough from Flamingo!
Stay tuned for more high water
exploratory paddling in the ‘Glades!
Further voyages of the
which is my
customized Ocean Kayak Trident 11 kayak, a versatile SOT craft for the back country paddler! I can paddle it as a kayak, standing SUP style or pole it. She turns on a dime and the center hatch allows easy access to photo gear.
Previously on paddling at Shark Valley:
See the “opposite extreme”
Exploratory hiking at Shark Valley in the dry season:
For those wondering about my aerial photography inside Everglades National Park, please note that there is no drone involved, it’s all done with poles!
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With that said..