Paddling on Whiskey Creek at Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) State Park in Dania Beach.

Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) beach aerial view afternoon panorama!
CLICK for a 360 degree VR panoramic – try it on your smart phone!

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Paddling and playing on Whiskey Creek!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

On the Whiskey Creek in Dania  ..  a time-capsule metaphor ..  a message in the bottle?

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Whiskey Creek in Dania Beach was aptly named due to bootleggers who used to hide out in it to avoid the law.  The creek was too shallow for Coast Guard cutters to get through in the (failed) Prohibition era experiment. It has a colorful history, and is also part of the Barefoot Mailman trail that follows his 3 day route from Palm Beach to Miami in the 1880s. For decades the creek had been part of John U Lloyd State Park , which itself was renamed to Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in the summer of 2016.

The new name is to commemorate two civil rights activists who worked to integrate beaches for all to enjoy. The new name reflects the combined efforts of civil rights leaders Dr. Von D Mizell and Eula Gandy Johnson, both of whom played key roles in the creation of what would later become today’s park. Firstly in the establishment of a “colored” beach and eventual road access to the current location. Secondly, both were instrumental in the desegregation of Ft Lauderdale’s beaches in the early 1960’s! Although done for a good cause, the name change met with some controversy as neither John Lloyd’s widow nor his heirs were even notified. It is unfortunate that John U. Lloyd’s name has been completely dropped, since as an attorney, he was ultimately responsible for transferring the undeveloped property into the state parks system to keep it out of developer’s hands. This is why the park had been named after him since 1976! Hopefully his long standing name can be re-instated on another level, perhaps as a new name for the Dania Beach Blvd bridge as has already been suggested!

The new rather long and awkward sounding name will no doubt be colloquially shortened to “Mizell-Johnson” park or even “MJ” park in the future. Regardless of the name, it is a great place to get away and relax!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive satellite

Satellite view of all of Whiskey Creek inside Mizell-Johnson State Park.
Note that Port Everglades inlet is on the left, which is due north on this image!
CLICK for larger map.

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Old time Whiskey Creek and Mizell-Johnson (John U. Lloyd) State Park are the jewels of Broward county!

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While not particularly large, the creek and park make up possibly the nicest beach in all of Broward county, and we can thank the efforts of John U Lloyd for preserving it from development. It is in fact the only “undeveloped” stretch of beach left in Broward county. What also makes it special is it’s location, the excellent scenery and the many recreational opportunities within!

Whiskey Creek is a bit over 1.5 miles long and actually all salt water. It parallels the coastline, and is sandwiched between the ocean and the intracoastal waterway to the west. It is however quite shallow, only 2 to 4 feet deep or less. Paddlers have at least three options to put-in and access the creek and surrounding waters.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive satellite

Satellite view of the Dania Beach fishing pier parking lot and south end of Whiskey Creek.
You can launch into the creek immediately behind the pier!

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The first and possibly best launch spot is right behind the Dania fishing pier and just north of the parking area. By launching here, you will have the full run of the creek going due north. Where the creek joins back into the intracoastal you then have the option of turning around, looping into the waterway or portaging into the ocean. Any of these will make for a nice short 3 to 4 mile loop!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Entrance to Whiskey Creek on the south end on a higher tide.

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The only caveat here is that on low tide you may have to walk your boat a couple hundred feet to get to water deep enough to paddle. If you don’t want to portage and walk, time your trip to avoid low tide at the sound end!

Even on high tide, the south end is only passable by canoes and kayaks. On the north end you will sometimes see jet skiers attempt to go down the creek, only to turn around later .. well sometimes they might make it!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Low tide on the south end of Whiskey Creek means getting out and pulling your boat maybe a couple of hundred feet!

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Whiskey Creek is linear and runs parallel to the coastline. To show you a panoramic 180 or 360 degree view inside a rectangluar image on this page means that something, somewhere, has to bend! Therefore the aerial birds-eye panoramas below have been artistically adjusted and optimized strictly for visual composition value rather than actual geographical accuracy. But I think you’ll get the point that the north and south ends have to wrap around the central foreground to fit!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Aerial view of entrance to Whiskey Creek on the south end.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Aerial birds-eye view of lower end of Whiskey Creek. It’s just a short hop over to the ocean.

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Despite it’s proximity to the city and the very industrial Port Everglades, wildlife can often be seen inside Whiskey Creek and the Park. There are many marine organisms and fish, along with lots of birds and sometimes even manatees and dolphins!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Mangroves line the banks of Whiskey Creek.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Among the mangroves on Whiskey Creek! 🙂

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Check out these great aerial pics of the area from RC airplanes!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Aerial birds-eye 360 wrap-around view from one of the bridges across Whiskey Creek

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There are some semi-accessible interior paths within the mangrove forest inside Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) that you can paddle through, but check with the park! Also be aware NOT to disturb and DO NOT walk on the sand dunes!! (They’re covered with sand spurs anyway .. ouch!). Also, at certain times of year you will see several sea turtle nests fenced off and other areas undergoing rehabilitation study, so stay CLEAR of these!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Native Sea Grapes abound in the park and are delicious when ripe!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Beautiful afternoon colors and light on this Seagrape leaf!

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Flex Maslan kayak Whiskey Creek John Lloyd kayakfari snorkel beach florida Mizell-Johnson park paddle urban

Taking time out on Whiskey Creek at Mizell-Johnson St Pk. 🙂

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About the only down side to being on Whiskey Creek is that it is directly under the flight path for airplanes coming in and out of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), so at times it can get noisy. Also, directly west just across the intracoastal waterway, is the industrial Port Everglades which is a busy shipping and cruise port. However with the predominant easterly breezes you get mostly clean fresh air right off the ocean!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

In the middle of Whiskey Creek .. north to south, from left to right – a 180 degree view.
CLICK for interactive superwide VR panorama!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Kayaking on Whiskey Creek near the bend back into the intracoastal waterway.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

I love you Sea Grape leaf, though you can’t hear! 😉

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com Whiskey Creek snorkel John U Lloyd kayakfari kayak beach toes foot canoe cruise ship port everglades Mizell-Johnson

All toes on board at Whiskey Creek in Dania Beach, Florida.
CLICK for story: Your feet are the key to proper paddling posture!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Whiskey Creek aerial view super panorama!
CLICK for a spin-around 360 degree VR panoramic – try it on your smart phone!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Palm trees and a gentle breeze with a full moon rising at the Park.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

North end of Whiskey Creek just before it loops back into the intracoastal .. left to right is from south to north.

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Just before you reach the point where the creek loops back into the intracoastal, there is a great place to portage into the ocean if you like!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

The cup is full
Aerial view of portage path from Whiskey Creek to the ocean just south of the bend back into the intracoastal.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive satellite

Satellite view of Mizell-Johnson St Park boat ramps and how Whiskey Creek bends back into the intracoastal waterway.

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Where Whiskey Creek joins back into the intracoastal waterway is the north end of the creek. This is the second possibility for launching your boat. You can put-in via the actual boat ramps or a small dirt embankment adjacent to them. I personally find this less appealing than the south end of the creek because you’ll have to deal with power boat traffic!

However there is now a concessionaire inside the bend where you can rent SUP boards and kayaks and also buy refreshments. The bend is also very popular with power boaters, and this area is always busy on weekends. On weekdays however, you can almost just about have the entire park all to yourself! 🙂

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive cruise ship port everglades

The north end of Whiskey Creek empties back out into the intracoastal waterway and Port Everglades.
Weekends are often busy with cruise ships, but you can paddle out for a peek!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

It’s hard not to have a great time paddling!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Iguanas gone wild basking in the sun!

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Note that Port Everglades inlet is a busy SHIPPING LANE!

Stay clear of traffic and close to the east side of the intracoastal if you venture in – exercise caution!!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive fpl

Industrial Port Everglades is just across the intracoastal waterway.
Note that these smokestacks were demolished in 2013 to make way for a new FPL power plant!

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As already mentioned, the bend at the north end of the creek is an excellent place to portage to the ocean side. You can launch right off the beach anywhere north from this point up towards the inlet. This would be the third way to get your boat in the water, but watch out for swimmers and snorkelers!

 The beach at Mizell-Johnson (John U. Lloyd) is a great place to surf. Bring your whitewater boat or short sea kayak in the winter & catch some waves!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Attitude is Chillin’ on Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) beach in Dania!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Ride! My old surf ski on the beach at Mizell-Johnson  (John U Lloyd State Park).

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Surf’s UP! Mizell-Johnson beach is a great place for kayak surfing and riding the ocean swells! 🙂

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

An overcast windy day at the beach at Mizell-Johnson (John U. Lloyd) State Park.

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

The beach at Mizell-Johnson (John U. Lloyd) unfortunately continues to experience a lot of erosion!

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The shallow waters off the beach make an excellent place to practice and learn kayak handling and maneuvers! It would be absolutely great if the park established a “No Motor Zone” with bouy markers in line with the jetty and fishing pier to the south. This would keep ALL motor boaters and jet skiers a good distance away from swimmers, snorkelers and kayakers!! As it is, I frequently see boaters approaching the beach at high speeds .. makes me NERVOUS! Especially in late afternoon when it’s hard for them to see into the sun!!

Nothing against power boaters or jet skiers per se, it’s  just that they don’t mix well with all the swimmers, snorkelers, divers, kiters, SUP paddle boarders and kayakers who frequent these waters. Simple as that!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) beach, launching a sea kayak into the ocean on a calm day.

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Back near the park boundary on the south end of the creek is a line of “erojacks”. These old concrete erosion control devices look like giant crosses and run out into the ocean quite a ways. This is a well known snorkeling area that’s worth checking out, so bring your mask, fins & snorkel!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

The ocean water is generally very clean & perfect for swimming and bathing!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Don’t forget to bring your dive flag when snorkeling !!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive

Snorkeling off the beach at Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd State Park).

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Paddlers seeking a longer workout can include the Port Everglades inlet as part of a 6 to 7 mile loop starting at the south end of Whiskey Creek. You should be experienced and comfortable around powerboats and fully competent with your bracing skills to avoid getting yourself into trouble near the inlet! While the intracoastal waterway is a minimum wake zone from Dania Beach Blvd all the way up to Port Everglades, the inlet itself is a FULL SPEED ZONE!

Best bet is to AVOID crossing the inlet esp. on weekends, and try to stick closer to the south side jetty, as there are no sea walls there. BEWARE that it can get EXTREMELY rough because boaters are already going FULL SPEED here, so stay clear and make sure you are 100% confident of your skills and abilities before venturing here. Also watch out for land fishermen on the jetty and their fishing lines!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive satellite port everglades

Satellite view of Port Everglades inlet.
Note the powerboat and it’s wake – this is a full speed zone!
DO NOT VENTURE INTO THE INLET UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE DOING!

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Remember that Port Everglades inlet is a busy SHIPPING LANE and a FULL SPEED boating zone! DON’T venture inside or cross the inlet unless you know EXACTLY what you’re doing and have a good reason for doing so!!

On weekends it can sometimes look like I-95!

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However, on the south end, you have more options to extend you trip.  When you come out into the intracoastal waterway, you will be almost under the Dania Beach Blvd bridge. You can then continue by making a sharp right (west) into a canal just south of the bridge that parallels the boulevard. Another half mile later you can make an immediate left (south) into West Lake Park and continue paddling. There are lots of paddling trails there and also a great very paddler-friendly floating dock put-in at Holland Park off Johnson Street. West Lake Park is off limits to powerboaters and jet skiers, though you might see the park tourist boat or occasional fishermen with electric trolling motors. It’s a great place for beginning paddlers and for practicing sea kayaking rescues and techniques!

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Whiskey Creek kayak Mizell-Johnson park John U Lloyd kayakfari flex maslan florida paddle beach ft lauderdale dania snorkel dive satellite

Dania Beach Blvd and adjacent canal, St Rd A1A, fishing pier and Dania Beach.

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Flex Maslan kayak Whiskey Creek John Lloyd kayakfari snorkel beach florida Mizell-Johnson park paddle urban

Paddling on the canal along Dania Beach Blvd which connects Whiskey Creek with West Lake Park to the south.

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Continue to:

Paddling West Lake Park in Hollywood

(* Coming soon! *)

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Enjoy!

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rasta happy kayakfari kayak canoe paddle photography adventure

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© 2011- 2016 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!

With that said..
Blessings friends!

🙂

10 comments on “Paddling on Whiskey Creek at Mizell-Johnson (John U Lloyd) State Park in Dania Beach.

  1. What’s happening Flex? I was just on the creek with Groover a couple of weekends ago. That’s one of my favorite spots in broward county, a little bit of the Keys here in ft Lauderdale. Just bought a gheenoe, looking forward to poling it through the creek.
    Enriqye

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