Friday, July 08, 2011

07/08/2011 - Choctaw NWR

Launch: Lenoir Landing Park just north of the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge in Choctaw County, Alabama.
Launch Cost: Free.
Destination: Exploratory paddle of the upper portion of Choctaw NWR including Okatuppa Creek. There is plenty of paddling territory up here!
Distance: 26 miles (round trip)
Paddle time: 8-1/2 hours
Weather: Another hot day in Alabama. Mostly Sunny. Rising tide. Minimal (<0.5 mph) current. No waves. No wind.
Caution: If you are exploring, beware, there is a Submerged Dam (Coffeeville Dam) 9 miles south of the launch site on the Tombigbee River.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header image shows a bunch of water hyacinth plants in bloom.

1) Sunrise on the Tombigbee River which is only about a tenth of a mile wide here.

2) There are many little sloughs to explore off Okatuppa Creek, including Judys Slough. The scenery was beautiful. The entrance to Okatuppa Creek and the upper Choctaw NWR area is about 3 miles south (an hours paddle) of the Lenoir Launch site on the Tombigbee. It is half that distance if you launch at the Choctaw NWR landing.

3) There were some Lotus flowers in bloom.

4) The seed pod of the Lotus flower.

5) I paddled up Okatuppa Creek until it got shallow near this farm where I spooked a herd of cows.

6) Saw plenty of Atlantic Pigeonwing flowers in the woods (Clitoria mariana).

7) Saw more green herons today than anything else.

8) Just when I thought it would be a dead end due to dense vegetation, there would be a little inlet leading to more spectacular views. I love exploring new waterways. Bet this area would be great to paddle during fall foliage.

9) This was a very heartwarming paddle today. The red objects are mosquito ferns.
The heart objects go to that special woman out there. You know who you are.

10) There were so many waterways to explore and not enough time in the day. I'll have to finish going up this shady in the middle of the day slough which is across the river from Choctaw NWR another day. There is still the Tallawampa Creek and Turkey Creek areas to explore, too.

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