TAVARES – The Lake County Water Authority (LCWA), in partnership with Lake County Parks & Trails, is hosting two guided paddle trips offering unparalleled views of Lake County’s hidden natural treasures.
On Saturday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m., residents are invited to a free paddle at Lake Norris Conservation Area, 38343 Lake Norris Road, Eustis. The property protects the extensive hardwood swamp that lies on the western shore of the lake and the shoreline of Black Water Creek, a major tributary of the Wekiva River.
Considered one of the best paddle destinations in Lake County, park rangers will guide participants on a tour of Black Water Creek, part of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River system. Paddlers may expect to see woodstorks, ibis, osprey, robins and warblers along cypress tree-lined shores adorned with native orchids and bromeliads. The LCWA will provide lunch.
An additional paddle adventure is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at 9 a.m. along the Stagger Mud Run, one of Lake County’s nine Blueway Trails. Launching from Powell’s Campground, 25716 Powell Drive, Astor, this guided trip will take paddlers into the portion of the run that leads into Lake Dexter and Stagger Mud Lake. The shorelines offer scenic vistas and opportunities to view wetland animals as well as the occasional manatee. The paddle trip is free, however, each vehicle will be charged $3 to park at the end of Alco Road in Astor.
Participants should bring water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and comfortable shoes for either of the paddle trips. A limited number of kayaks and canoes are provided, free for use. Reservations are required by contacting the LCWA at 352-324-6141, ext. 0.