Arbuckle Creek, Burnt Out Bridge Ramp

A self-supported trip created by Overstreet

Trip Overview

We were going to an RV club rally in Highland Hammock state park. The rally organizer asked us to lead some of the group on a kayak trip and suggested Arbuckle Creek. We had never paddled this run so we got the boats on Friday when the group was bicycle riding and paddled the creek in preparation for the group paddle on Sunday morning.

The paddle was short. This group doesn’t do long paddles. There was however an up current leg that kept the group size down. We put in at Burnt Out Bridge boat ramp. It appears the road used to go to the Air Force bombing range base across the creek where the power line goes today. Must have had a fiery ending.

The ramp is at the end of East Arbuckle Road off of CR 64. CR 64 is the extension of Main Street in Avon Park. The route is marked to the Avon Park Air Force Range. The roads are all country roads. E. Arbuckle turns to dirt/gravel and goes down to the boat ramp. It travels along groves and cattle pastures. It is farm country. The boat ramp is a one lane concrete ramp with long finger pier. There is a gravel beach next to the boat ramp suitable for kayak launches. Parking is adequate for the traffic, but maybe 8 vehicles. Trailers would have room. There are no rest rooms.

The trip planned was a paddle out and back. We‘d paddle three miles upstream take a break and return the three miles back. On our preparation paddle we paddled out into Lake Arbuckle at the 3 mile point. If with a little more time we would have paddled to the other end of the lake. But that wasn’t the plan. The lake is relatively shallow with a ring of lilies and cat tails around it. Drifting across the lilies we spooked many larger fish. The wind was easterly and it cooled down the mid-80s temperatures. The lake is a kind of figure 8 shape. 1.5miles wide and 4 miles long. Some houses at the AF base end. A few off base at the bridge. There was a house at the boat ramp and one at the bridge. You can’t miss the marks.

The current flowing from the lake was about .5 to .9 mph. Not too bad to paddle against and nice to paddle with. The path snaked through cypress woods and swampy areas. One side had barbed wire and AF Bombing range signs. The other had a mix of barbed wire and private property/ Wildlife management/ State Forest property signs. A few low country fields next to the creek had cattle. It was a shaded paddle good for a hot day. It appeared that the water was up a little. Which made paddling over logs, sticks, sand bars easier.

Wildlife was about. They were cautious. It was an area where people don’t come that often. The birds flew when we were 50 yards away. Gators sounded early. There is however an 8 ft. gator that showed itself at the end of the boat ramp canal.

It was a nice paddle. Everybody enjoyed it. We passed a fisherman in/on a paddle board. We also passed a group of three kayakers paddling downstream as we paddled up.

I recommend this paddle.

Safety Notes

Don't feed the gators. Current is light but it will trap you under brush and trees. Be careful.


It was apparent that someone was sawing deadfall. Low water though could expose more deadfall and sand bars.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 4/25/2021
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location