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Pound Net Creek

See trail guide below ... click on camera icons for photos at that location.

This is an ambitious 7.5 to 8 mile paddle for intermediate to experienced kayakers. Pound Net Creek, and its unnamed twin to the south, both drain sizeable tidal lakes - meandering to the west into the Gulf. A third small creek on our route is shorter, and with its own lake, lies between the other two. If your time is short and you must do just a portion of the trail, choose the unnamed creek to the south. Compared to Pound Net Creek, it is narrower, winds about more, and is just plain more interesting.

The paddle trail takes you to areas of the Park where few kayakers are ambitious enough to go, and where most motorboats dare not venture. This means the wildlife is not accustomed to frequent human contact - making some of the animals more skittish, and others more curious. Bring your camera, a lunch, lots of water, and enjoy your day.

Most of this trip may be made at any tide level - although there are many more options with more water. In fact, if there is a strong high tide you can find shortcuts between the various lakes we will visit by using the airboat trails - in other words, less backtracking.

At least a mile of this trip is through open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, so wind can be a factor. Unless you are a competent sea kayaker, or enjoy getting wet, make sure the wind is less than 10 miles per hour for this adventure.

Hidden along Pound Net Creek is a series of 6 geocaches. See HERE for more information.

The launch point is at the west end of the Kayak Launch Trail starting from the main parking area. Another convenient launch point is Brasher Park at the west end of Koons Drive in Port Richey, FL. The trail map above does not show the entire journey from the launch site. It is about two miles from the launch point to the mouth of Pound Net Creek.

  1. The trail map does not show your entire journey. From the launch site you will paddle a little about 1-1/2 miles just to get on the map. Our route shows a path that would come from the south along the inside of the island at the mouth of Double Hammock Creek and then back into the Gulf along the Westport boat channel. On the way back, you can try going around the outside of that island for a change in scenery.
  2. The shallow seagrass areas around the mouths of all these creeks provide excellent opportunities to bird watch. It would be unusual if you didn't see Great Egrets, Blue Herons, cranes and other large birds wading or sitting in the mangroves.
  3. This creek, even though it doesn't seem to have a name, is probably the more picturesque of the three on this paddle trail. Narrow, winding, and sometimes with a brisk tidal current, it meanders through red and black mangroves. To the south there are places where you can catch a glimpse of great expanses of needle rush.
  4. The lake that forms the source of the creek is a characteristic feature of the salt marsh at Werner-Boyce Park. All three of the creeks on this paddle trail have a lake as their source. You will notice paths running away from most of the lakes that are navigable at high tides. These paths are often used by airboats as connector routes between the lakes. As you leave the lake and backtrack up the creek, feel free to explore a bit. There are multiple ways to travel - especially at a high tide.
  5. As you leave the mouth of the creek and turn north, look down into the water. The seagrass is gone, and the bottom is white sand. This feature is quite striking when viewed from an aerial photo like Google Earth, and extends from this point to the northern boundary of the Park near Hudson, Florida. It is thought that the limestone shelf that extends out in to the Gulf of Mexico is particularly shallow at this point, with only a thin layer of sand - not enough to support seagrass.
  6. The mouth of the middle creek in this series is unremarkable, but you never know how far these things go unless you paddle up them. This one is short, but we include it on our itinerary for completeness sake.
  7. At all but high tide, this area usually offers a small beach where you can disembark and stretch your legs. Maybe a good spot to sit and have lunch. Beyond the shore is nothing but a large plain of needle rush, so don't try exploring.
  8. We are finally at the mouth of Pound Net Creek, the namesake for this paddle trail.
  9. Decisions, decisions ... there are so many ways to go. The path on our trail map is just one suggestion. You might want to keep to the right going upstream and try the other side going back. Yes, there are a few dead ends, but that's half the fun.
  10. There's another little lake out here, but finding the entrance can be tricky. Best bet is to paddle downstream, then turn back upstream and keep to the left. You may need a high tide to make it all the way into the lake.
  11. A nice large lake awaits you at the end of Pound Net Creek. And as with the other lakes we visited, there are paths leading away that are navigable at high tide. If you have the water, you can try exploring. But be warned ... when the tide turns, these paths through the needle rush can drain quickly.
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