The Cypress Canopy
Can you guess why this is our most popular trip? How about a canopied river, an incredible array of wildlife, tropical plants and even some South Florida “whitewater” action!
The Cypress Canopy trip covers the upper section of the Loxahatchee River. It’s one trip you don’t want to miss!
Your adventure starts at the launch near Canoe Rentals at the Park. You can rent a canoe or kayak. If you need to keep your electronic items dry, we carry several types of dry bags in the shop.
As you leave the canoe launch you’ll head downstream on the tea-colored Loxahatchee River and into the cypress swamp. The swamp gets it name from a type of tree that’s commonly found here – yup, it’s a cypress. A “Bald Cypress” to be exact. Not only is it bald, but it has bony “knees” that grow from the roots and stick up out of the water. You’ll also see lots of other types of tropical and sub-tropical foliage, such as Leather Ferns, Wax Myrtle and Pond Apple trees. Best of all, the cypress swamp provides shade from the hot Florida sun.
As you paddle along the small and twisty river you’ll get a feeling of being a part of it. It’s a fun place to explore and see how many different kinds of animals you can spot – or perhaps which animals spot you, like the critters pictured above. On every other turn you might see an alligator, turtle, bird or raccoon. Owls, egrets, heron, osprey, limpkin and kingfisher all call this river home.
Speaking of river, the current pushes you along as you head toward the Lainhart Dam, which is about 25 minutes from the canoe launch. Running the dam is done when there is sufficient water in the river. At low water levels you’ll need to carry the boat around the dam.
After the Lainhart Dam, you’ll continue downstream to Masten Dam. Here a small wooden boardwalk goes around the dam. A restroom can be found a short ways up the trail. Many people like to stop here and have a break but there are no tables or other picnic facilities. From here you can either continue downstream another 1/2 mile to the Florida Turnpike or turn around and begin the paddle upstream to the canoe launch.
Returning upstream is the most difficult part of the trip as you’ll be paddling against the current. It usually takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes going upstream for every hour going downstream so plan accordingly. After a period of hard rains the current moves quicker so it will take a bit more effort to get back to the Park.
Do you want to see more photos before starting your own adventure? Here are some recent photos from a Cypress Canopy kayaking trip.
Why don’t you come out to Canoe Rentals at the Park, rent a kayak or canoe and spend a few hours paddling the Cypress Canopy on the Loxahatchee River? We know you’ll have a great time.