Touring the Trees at Lofton Creek
The blackwaters at Lofton Creek wind in and out of trees of all shapes and sizes, lining the water and providing a perfect canopy for a kayaking retreat. The protected hardwoods surrounding Lofton Creek are made up of a variety of tree species, which are really what make this creek special—the way the river winds and narrows is due to fallen trees that are now blocking the water.
Within the larger forest that surrounds the river, Lofton Creek is home to a grand cypress tree that has been a part of these waters for 2,000 years and extends more than 150 feet into the air. In addition to this oldest tree, the forest surrounding Lofton Creek is filled with other cypresses that are well over 500 years old. Cypress trees are a special sight that you don’t get to see too often while running around the city. With knees that stand above the soil, cypress trees can offer the façade of appearing as if they have grown right out of the water.
Most prehistoric forests of cypress are extinct, but here in Florida we have the benefit of being able to kayak right up to the base of some of the oldest living things you can find anywhere. Being close to these ancient growths is enough to make you feel lost as you glide in and out of the forest’s cover.
Also at Lofton Creek are an abundance of maple trees. This is one species that is native to North Florida. Native trees are especially important to take care of, as so many invasive species of plants move into our soil and require extra maintenance, often impairing the ability of our native plants to flourish. The Florida Sugar Maple is one native species that you can find while exploring Lofton Creek.
While you are gliding down Lofton Creek, the branches of our native plants will protect you from the blazing sun. Bay and red maple trees shade the water by creating a canopy of leaves. The densely wooded nature of this forest makes it a difficult terrain to explore on foot, which makes knowing how to kayak a big advantage.
In addition to the nature at Lofton Creek, this kayaking tour will take you under old railroads—something that younger kayakers often seem to enjoy. The nature of the wooded canopy makes this a great expedition for those who want to hit the water without getting too much sun.