Canepatch camp site deep in the Everglades – a former Indian Mound (Avocado Mound).

“A large clearing with a small dock”

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch aerial Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Aerial bird’s-eye panoramic view of the Canepatch campground deep in the Everglades. Click for interactive panorama!

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The Canepatch (Cane Patch) is a remote back country campsite inside Everglades National Park and is basically is a large clearing with a small access dock.

Formerly called “Avocado Mound”, it was cultivated and occupied by native peoples for hundreds of years at least, perhaps thousands. It’s location along the transition between the salty coastal mangrove forests and freshwater slough (The River of Grass) of the Everglades would be akin to a rest stop on a superhighway today. High, dry ground can be scarce to find in this region, and this site was cleared and built up as a mound by native people who also cultivated some crops. It was one of several in a network of mounds that natives built up, maintained and seasonally lived on. Certainly right up to the establishment of Everglades National Park itself there were people living and farming at Cane Patch, with the name itself giving away at least one of the crops commonly grown by cracker settlers in the Everglades! Evidence of this can still be readily seen in the vegetation which is like a small botanical garden! There is an outhouse and about a 30 foot wooden walkway leading into the clearing as well as an overgrown old hiking trail leading northward past that.

Along with Willy Willy and Camp Lonesome to the north, Canepatch is about as far into the Everglades interior as a Wilderness Waterway paddler can typically get to today.

Even though remote, or maybe because of it – Canepatch is a popular camping site with powerboaters. It is a great place to get away, yet has plenty of room for a boat load of people to bring out and use most creature comforts. It makes a perfect base camp for the excellent fishing all around this area. So don’t be surprised to find powerboats at the dock, giant tents and neighbors with lots of stuff in the clearing!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch satellite Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch is far from everywhere and rather remote!
Satellite view in relation to Everglades National Park.

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 However Canepatch is far away from EVERYWHERE!

You’ve got over 30 miles coming up from Flamingo, maybe double that when going down from Chokoloskee or 35 miles if you’re running down the Shark River Slough. So take your pick. It being so remote that it takes at least a day, more likely two days for most paddlers just to make it there!

On the other hand, it’s a nice side trip for those paddling the Wilderness Waterway. It will add about 10 to 20 miles as a loop to get back on the marked waterway track. Still, it can be worth the paddle, especially if you have time to go up to Rookery Branch / Bottle Creek to see the Coastal-Slough transition. That is a real special place!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch satellite Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch is one of the three most remote interior backcountry campsites in Everglades National Park!

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There are two ways to approach Canepatch. One is from the west (Gulf side) by going up the Harney or Shark Rivers into Tarpon Bay and then up Avocado Creek.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch satellite Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Satellite view of Avocado Creek on the left, with Rookery Branch to the right.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

On the upper reaches of Tarpon Bay en route to Canepatch.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

“It’s that a way Captain!” on Avocado Creek .. getting close to Canepatch!

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The second approach is by coming down the Shark River Slough from the east  (north), and you will reach the mound via Bottle Creek and then Rookery Branch.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch satellite Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch is situated about 6 miles downstream of the Shark River Slough – Coastal Mangrove transition line and the headwaters of the Shark River itself!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Bottle Creek giving way to Rookery Branch. These are the last of the mangrove “fingers” that you see jutting out into the Shark River Slough.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Cruising down Rookery Branch towards the sunset and Canepatch!
Available from Kayakfari ART Photography.

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Actually there is a third unofficial option, but only for the most advanced paddlers and only under the right conditions. When coming down from the north, it is possible to connect to Canepatch from Camp Lonesome via the “Lost Portage”. Officially per the Park, they will direct you to paddle out into the Gulf or run down The Nightmare, and that there is no passable path between the two camps. But there is an experimental and unmarked shortcut with which to connect the two Everglades streams on which these camps are situated. It is highly water level dependent and may involve extensive pushing, pulling and mud crawling – depending on conditions. Most casual paddlers realistically won’t be able to take advantage of this shortcut, but this third option does exist!

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The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove satellite

The Lost Portage connects the tributaries to the Broad River and Harney/Shark River streams within a space of about a mile or so!
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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“Canepatch”

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch satellite Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch Everglades campsite clearing location, satellite view.

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The dock itself doesn’t have a lot of room, so the best bet is to unload and then daisy chain your boats together securely. There is tidal influence here and you’ll notice that the water can drop a good 3 feet on ebb! Depending on the season and year, the water may or may not be fresh enough to filter for drinking, but should be fine for general cooking. There’s also a resident gator, so don’t wash your dishes leaning over the dock – this is the exact scenario ambush predators like alligators are always looking for!!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch aerial Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Aerial woodpecker’s-eye view of the small dock at Canepatch

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Panoramic view south from the dock at Canepatch.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

The small Canepatch dock and the outhouse.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Walkway to the Canepatch dock.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Pack light – you’ll have to carry everything off your boat at least 30-50 feet into the clearing!

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The large open space offers plenty of room for groups. There are two picnic tables and tress to hang hammocks on. Sadly there are now also cockroaches, no doubt as a result of frequent and improper food handling and disposal! They seem to hang out on the tables, waiting for their chance.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch aerial Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Aerial Buzzard’s-eye-view of the clearing at Canepatch.
Kayaking the River of Grass – a Shark River Slough Expedition.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove

The large clearing at Canepatch with two convenient picnic tables!
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Camping on the large clearing at Canepatch.

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Officially there are no ground fires allowed, though you might see remains of some. You can trade camp stories by the warm glow of the LED lamp. 😉

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

This doesn’t look like much, but it’s actually one of the (overgrown) trails leading out into the surrounding bush jungle.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

When it’s COLD outside, put on everything you’ve got! 😉

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Good morning sunshine, the air is sweet!

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shark river slough everglades aerial canepatch indian mound canre patch camp kayakfari kayak canoe kayakfari.com flex maslan enp backcountry camping wilderness paddle outback florida rookery branch bottle creek

Camping at Canepatch after paddling down the Shark River Slough.
Kayaking the River of Grass – a Shark River Slough Expedition.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Geodetic Survey marker from 1955 at Canepatch, Everglades National Park.

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The land has been cultivated for centuries and you’ll find many well known and other more exotic plants growing there. Beware that there can also be a LOT of Poison Ivy, so be sure to take precautions if you are sensitive!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch is like a small botanical garden!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Papaya growing wild at Canepatch.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Nature loves repeating patterns!

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When you get it all to yourself, Canepatch is

great for solitude and quiet contemplation!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Reflections in the gentle moving waters at Canepatch.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Hues of greens and browns in the waters surrounding Canepatch deep in the Everglades!

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If you or your friends bring some fishing gear you can cook yourself a nice dinner. Just be aware that due to heavy metal mercury contamination of the Everglades ecosystem, there are guidelines and limits for consuming freshwater and inshore fish according to the Park.

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Kayak Camp Cooking Everglades kayakfari camping florida bay canoe adventure outback flats bank Keys Flex Maslan primitive photo photography

“Catch of the Day” at Canepatch – though this could be your weekly mercury consumption limit of everglades sourced fish!

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Kayak Camp Cooking Everglades kayakfari camping florida bay canoe adventure outback flats bank Keys Flex Maslan primitive photo photography

Fresh fish dinner filet simmering in lime juice and beer! 🙂

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove experimental

A bit of Kung-fu fightin’, feeling pumped up, strong like Rocky at Canepatch!
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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At night, Canepatch can be a great place for stargazing on a clear night. Deep in the middle of the Everglades it gets nice and dark, and you are about 25 miles away from Homestead, the edge of light pollution. The water by the dock turns into a mirror in the dead of night and reflects the stars beautifully – it gets ultra chill out there! Be prepared for lots of condensation and morning dew – everything will likely be wet when you wake up in the morning.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove experimental

Kayaks in the still of the night by the Canepatch dock on a new (no) moon night.
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove experimental

Silent Night” – stars reflecting in mirror-like water at Canepatch.
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch night sky stars Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

The Big Dipper rising over Canepatch in the north east sky. Note the glow on the horizon from all the lights shining in Dade County.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch night sky stars Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch camping under the stars.

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NIGHT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY and DIGITAL ART from the EVERGLADES, FLORIDA BAY, TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, BIG CYPRESS & BEYOND!

(click pic to enter)

Flex Maslan kayakfari photographer kayak camping stars night Everglades landscape pano print art Florida Bay slough shark camping with the stars

ART of Darkness – Camping with the Stars! Part II

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Good night’s camping at the Canepatch backcountry campsite .. a 3.5 minute time exposure on a cool night in February.

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Canepatch Indian mound camping kayakfari Cane Patch night sky stars Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Orion and many other stars streaking across the dark sky at Canepatch

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Flex Maslan kayakfari lost portage canepatch lonesome everglades kayak canoe shark river slough camp backcountry paddle wilderness mangrove experimental

360 all-sky view from the darkness of Canepatch, due north at bottom.
The Lost Portage – connecting streams in the Everglades!

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Enjoy your time out in the Everglades!

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© 2016 – 2021 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

All rights reserved!

DISCLAIMER:

The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

I hereby disclaim any sponsorship, endorsement, nor association with any product or service described herein. The photographs, depictions, products, and ideas presented on this site are for informational purposes only. Your results may vary, and I do not imply nor guarantee the effectiveness, suitability, design or operation to adhere to any standard. I assume no legal responsibility for the implementation of anything herein presented! Use any and all information at your own risk! By using any and all information from this website, you accept the final liability for any use or possible associated misuse!

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With that said..
Blessings friends!

 

🙂

6 comments on “Canepatch camp site deep in the Everglades – a former Indian Mound (Avocado Mound).

  1. I like setting a goal: “I can get to the lighthouse and back in a couple of hours.

    Even in today’s tough economic times, you can still have an opportunity
    to use inexpensive, but the quality of recreational options for you and your entire
    family without breaking the bank. It certainly looks very relaxing too,
    to sit all day and paddle along in the sea. The sponging
    village of Tarpon Springs is a bit of paddle, doable.

    Like

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  4. Pingback: The Daily Dose – The Cane patch rest stop on the “superhighway” of the Everglades. | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

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