Devon Creek Magic

by: Doug Alderson, Outdoor & Nature Expert

 

Perhaps the most breathtaking of the Apalachicola River tributaries is Devon Creek, especially when the water is high enough to venture in with a kayak or canoe. Just off Owl Creek-the entrance nearly obscured by branches-the waterway is completely canopied by cypress and tupelo gum branches. In spring, a season when water levels are usually high enough, the bright green sprouting leaves make for a spectacular contrast to the grays and browns of the curving tree trunks.

I first found Devon Creek by accident more than thirty years ago on a canoe trip down Owl Creek with my mother and a friend. Once we entered the leafy corridor, we were entranced. We spoke in hushed tones as if loud voices would break the magical spell. Occasionally, we pointed out cypress knees and roots that had made artistic shapes. Finally, as light faded and the creek narrowed, we reluctantly turned around, vowing to return one day.

On a 2011 visit, a friend and I found a twisted cypress tree that I called cypress angel because there was a visible face and two sections of trunk that resembled wings. Perhaps this "angel" watches out for this special place deep in the Apalachicola floodplain, reminding all who pass that nature is full of mystery and beauty.

The easiest way to reach Devon Creek is to launch at the Hickory Landing Campground (part of the Apalachicola National Forest) on Owl Creek. Paddle downstream towards the Apalachicola River about a half mile and look for the Devon Creek opening on the left. GPS coordinates for the opening in decimal-degrees is N29.9799 W85.0186.

If you want to explore the Apalachicola River and its tributaries, check out the paddling trips offered by the Apalachicola Riverkeeper on the fourth Saturdays of the month, and on occasion trips are offered other days of the week as well. For more information visit the Riverkeeper website and click on the Events section: http://www.apalachicolariverkeeper.org/home0.aspx.

 

 

 

Doug Alderson. Outdoor & Nature Expert from Tallahassee, FL Author:

Doug Alderson

Outdoor & Nature Expert

Bio:

Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth (Quest Books 2007), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, Mother Earth News and Shaman's Drum. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.

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