Canepatch Indian Mound (Avocado Mound)

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 zoomable superwide fullscreen VR Cane Patch panorama!

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The Canepatch (Cane Patch) backcountry campsite is one of the more remote camp areas in the Everglades. Formerly called Avocado Mound, it was likely cultivated and occupied by native peoples for hundreds of years at least, and certainly right up to the establishment of Everglades National Park. 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. The Cane Patch  is a large clearing with a small dock maintained by the Park Service as an official campsite. It has  an outhouse and about a 30 foot wooden walkway into the clearing.

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Even though remote, (or maybe because of it) Canepatch is a popular camping site with powerboaters, and why not! It is a great place to get away, yet with plenty of space to bring and use most creature comforts. Canepatch also makes a perfect base camp for the excellent fishing all around this area. It is far away from EVERYWHERE!! You’ve got about 30 miles going up from Flamingo, maybe double that coming down from Chokoloskee or 35 miles if you’re running down the Shark River Slough .. so take your pic! On the other hand, it’s literally a side trip for those on the Wilderness Waterway, adding about a 10 mile loop to get back on track (5 miles each way). Still, it is worth the paddle, especially if you have time to go up about 6 miles on Rookery Branch/Bottle Creek to see the Coastal-Slough transition. That is a real special place! For paddlers you will need to really set aside some time – it being so far away that it takes at least a day, more likely two days just to paddle out there!

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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 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!” on Avocado Creek .. getting close to Canepatch!

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The second approach is by coming down the Shark River Slough from the 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 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!

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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 Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Canepatch dock and outhouse.

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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 dock at Canepatch

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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 30-50 feet

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

Walkway to Canepatch dock

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

Panoramic view from the dock at Canepatch

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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.

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

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

Camping at Canepatch

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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 aerial Flex Maslan Shark River Slough Everglades

Aerial Buzzard’s-eye-view of the clearing at Canepatch.

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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 – put on everything you got!  😉
Photo credit: Kayak Rolando

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

Good morning Sunshine!!

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

Geodetic Survey marker from 1955 at Canepatch

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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’s also 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

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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

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

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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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Adventurous readers may well wonder about an inland connection between Canepatch and Camp Lonesome. Officially per the Park, they will tell you to paddle out into the Gulf or run down The Nightmare, that there is no passable path between the two camps. Not for the faint of heart, but it has been done thanks to the folks at Everglades Exploration Network – it will require some serious planning on your part!!

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

Canepatch in relation to Everglades National Park

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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 and interior of the backcountry campsites in Everglades National Park

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

Canepatch is perfectly situated about 6 miles out past the Shark River Slough-Coastal Mangrove transition line and the headwaters of the Shark River!

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

Avocado Creek on left, Rookery Branch to the right

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

Canepatch satellite view

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Enjoy your time outdoors!

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© 2016 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / digital029art.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!

With that said..
Blessings friends!

🙂

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3 comments on “Canepatch 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

  2. Pingback: Everglades winter skies, celestial alignments and the nicest dreams of 2017! | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

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