Everglades National Park, Day 8 – Friday – February 15, 2013

Day 8, Friday – Paddling Coot Bay Pond and Lake

Yesterday we scoped it out…
Today we are going to paddle Coot Bay Pond to Coot Bay.00 - Coot Bay Pond - Kayak Trail

We headed out early after a night of heavy rain.

I blew up the Sea Eagle on the parking area where it was dry!!01 - Blowing up the kayak


Nancy walked over to see the launch area and found this drenched Red-shouldered Hawk:-((02 - very wet Red Shoulder Hawk

It didn’t take long before we were launched on Coot Bay Pond!!03c - Paddling Coot Pond - Looking for Trail across the pond


Coot Bay Pond is a lovely, small, shallow pond.

You can tell how shallow it is when you see the Great Blue Heron wading across;o))

We also saw several Coots and Lesser Scaup ducks!!

  03b - Paddling Coot Pond - Shallow, Great Blue Heron, Coots03 - Paddling Coot Pond - Lesser Scaups

However,  what we were looking for was a small opening in the Mangroves!!


There it is….the small opening to the trail to Coot Bay :o))03d - Paddling Coot Pond - Trail opening

We had to really duck to get through the opening.

Once inside, the trail was spectacular!!!

04 - Entering the Mangrove Tunnel  04b - Paddling through the Mangrove Tunnel

It is a beautiful, narrow tunnel through the Mangroves to Coot Bay Lake.

04c - Approaching the Mangrove Tunnel Exit  04d - First Peek at Coot Bay Lake


As we came out of the tunnel into Coot Bay ,

we saw hundreds of Coots on this huge lake.

05 - Lots of Coots on Coot Bay Lake

Trying to get close enough for a photo is a challenge;o(

A little closer!!

05b - Lots of Coots a little closer


However, one paddled closer and off they go;o((

05c - Lots of Coots a little too close

It actually is quite entertaining to see them take flight.

First, they get up to speed by running across the water!!

Try as we might, we could never get close enough for a decent photo:-(


We had the same problem with the Lesser Scaup Ducks.

We tried to get close enough to photograph their blue beaks.

That wasn’t going to happen either:-(

06 - Lesser Scaup Duck  06b - Lesser Scaup Duck wouldn't stay still either


Coot Bay is a very large lake. 

We, or I should say I,
paddled close to the shoreline,
searching the Mangroves for wildlife. ;o)07 - Paddled along the Mangrove coast


When we reached the point where Buttonwood Canal meets Coot Bay Lake,
we turned around.
07b - Paddled past the end of Buttonwood Canal


While Coot Bay is a beautiful lake,

we both prefer smaller, narrower bodies of water when we kayak.

So we headed back through the mangrove tunnel to Coot Bay Pond

7c - Back through the mangrove tunnel08 - Back through the tunnel


Coot Bay Pond is so beautiful and serene.

Great place to just float around and enjoy nature!!

09 - View across Coot Bay Pond


Before long, we had floated almost to the take out point.09b - Approaching the Take out


As we carried the kayak to the car,

we were greeted by this adorable Black Vulture;o((

10 - The Vulture Greeting Committee

This was a very nice, easy paddle that I would recommend to anyone!!!


  1. Glad you found a dry place to inflate your Sea Eagle, you surely wouldn't want it to get wet... ;c)

    Another incredible paddle, how much more interesting it is when you have a kayak to get out and about with. :c)

  2. An adorable black vulture! HA! You may be the very first person to ever utter that phrase.:-) Great paddle. We loved it too for the very same reasons. The tunnel into mud lake is another very cool one. Loved the picture of the relaxing blue shoes. Paddle on!!!

  3. I think I would have been happy just staying in Coot Bay Pond. That Mangrove tunnel looked pretty spooky to me :)

  4. Nice trip! I have never thought of vultures as adorable:)

  5. I second Gail's comment....I don't like mangrove tunnels! Especially when gators are bellowing! ;-) But - I'm still glad I did that ranger led paddle!!

  6. I am glad that you found the tunnel to go back to the pond :) Bread crumbs don't last in water..lol. Looks lovely!