St. Augustine Stories and Tips

Through a Florida Creek

row of kayaks Photo, St. Augustine, Florida

One spring weekend in St. Augustine we visited some friends who live on the Intracoastal (the waterway which flows between inlets and on the land-side of Anastasia Island). As they live on the water, they have water "toys" and so we pushed out 3 kayaks and 1 canoe (which my husband and I shared). After crossing to the west side of the waterway at high tide, being careful not to disturb any of the oyster beds which lie just a couple feet below the surface, we went under a bridge and then kept rowing towards a marsh area.

Since it was high tide, we were hoping to find a path through the reeds and grass to connect us with the protected Moses Creek. Luckily we glided quite effortlessly through the shortcut, and then began the zig-zagging through the marsh. Gliding through the water was fun as we chatted and kept our eyes out for wildlife. We saw many places where alligators used for a beach, but no sign of the large reptiles themselves...which I wasn't complaining about. Since there were 5 of us, we probably made enough noise to scare them off before we approached.

A couple miles in, we stopped on a dock and ate a quick bite for lunch. Before getting back in the boats, we walked up to a small overlook cliff to see the winding creek below, and mentioned how it didn't feel like we were just a few miles from our house because this place was so secluded and peaceful. We continued up the creek for a bit more, and then turned around just as the tide shifted.

As we approached the southern end of the creek again, which feeds to the Intracoastal, we found the small path we'd used to enter several hours earlier, but now as the tide was emptying - we had to shimmy the canoe over the muck and grasses while jamming our ores in the mud. Finally we made it through and continued on open water back towards the house.

Just before we left the marsh, we saw a tree full of the bright pink spoonbills, and several herons and cranes flying by. When we paddled through the open water though, we glided right by a pod of dolphins who were feeding on a large school of fish. I always love to see them come up out of the water, and this time it was so quiet that we could hear them breathe each time they surfaced. Unfortunately, every time I went to take a photo they were already back in the water or further away from us - but I did get a glimpse of a fin in one shot.

Being on the water, out in the sun, and rowing for hours, really made me collapse later in the afternoon, and my upper back and arms are still reminding me of the muscles that I used. It was such an enjoyable time to spend with friends, rowing, watching wildlife, and enjoying the Florida outdoors.

Overall, Moses Creek is a great easy creek to navigate and one of the few remaining undeveloped tidal creeks in the region. There is an entire Wildlife Conservation area there and visitors can see animals like the Great Blue Herron, snow egrets, osprey, hawks, gopher tortoises, deer, otters and foxes.

• http://www.jaxkayakfishing.com/moses206.html (not official website, but good info and rental info)
• St. Augustine, SR 206

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