The mild subtropical climate of Northern Florida supports an abundance of temperate salt marsh vegetation and wildlife. Rich in nutrients, these marshes feed and protect millions of ribbed mussels, fiddler crabs and the periwinkle snails. Low tide brings a host of other predacious animals into the marsh to feed as herons, egrets, ibis, raccoons, and others spread over the exposed marsh floor and the muddy banks of the tidal creeks in search of food.
Following the winding creeks through the marshes, surrounded by gently waving marsh grass, kayakers are given a real sense of solitude. The watery pathways meander through the quiet, almost mysterious landscape inhabited by a wide variety of native birds, animals, and plants. The marshes, some of the most productive ecosystems in the world, do not overpower the observer with awe, but rather reveals its charm in small, subtle ways.
The path through the marsh follows the western border of Ft. Clinch State Park. Its large maritime forests provide protection from the wind and shelter for the parks native inhabitants. It is typified by live oaks, southern magnolias, and cabbage palms shading understory species such as the red bay, yaupon and American holly, sparkleberry, wax myrtle, saw palmetto, vines (muscadine, cat brier, Virginia creeper), Spanish moss and a variety of ferns and woods flowers. Deer, raccoons and alligators can sometimes be spotted along the edge of the marsh and in the trees of Ft. Clinch State Park.
This is an easy trip suited for all experience levels. Egans Creek is tidally influenced and must be paddled with the current; and, due to the conditions of the launch site, the creek is only accessible during a small window around high tide. Because of this, trip times change daily and there may be some days when this trip in not available.