Why it’s called “Alligator River”


20070908b-4.jpgI’ve been to Alligator River NWR a couple of times, but I had yet to paddle the Milltail Creek Trail west to the Alligator River. Leaving the launch site, you immediately pass under a small foot-bridge and enter a larger body of water. Turn right heading east for a couple of hundred yards and you’ll see a trail marker where the creek narrows to about 20 to 30 feet. The entrance, however, appears to be guarded by two gentlemen on the north and south whom this area seems appropriately named after. If you’re a bit apprehensive about these critters, I’d recommend paddling near the middle of the creek. I wound up within about 10 feet before I saw them (although I’m sure they saw me somewhat earlier).

This is a nice route and, unlike some of the others, stays relatively wide and easy to paddle. My only complaint is that there are no opportunities to get out and stretch. I didn’t venture very far into Alligator River at the west end of the trail, but it would be nice to be able to get out and take a break before turning back. There may some place further up or down the river’s shore.

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