Peace River Fort Meade Rec. Area to Brownville Park (49 miles)
Monday I met Chuck R. at Brownville Park and we shuttled canoes and gear up to Fort Meade Rec. Area. We were on the river by 10:00 and paddled or dragged and lifted our boats for the first four miles. The water was lower then expected so we had about four lift-overs and two spots where we dragged out boats out of the water and around downed trees. Also spent some time dragging our canoes over sharp limestone too shallow to float over.
We paddled until 6 PM and after the first four miles I dont think we ran into any low water. This upper section of the Peace River is quite beautiful, as it is narrow and shaded. The water temperature was warm so dragging the boats was not unpleasant. Tuesday we continued down river for another 22 miles. The temperature was hot in the late morning and afternoon. Mid nineties in the shade. We got out of our boats several times to jump in the water and cool off. About 3:30 we found a sandbar and set up camp. Chuck had his parawing, which we sat under to get some shade and we used the river as an air conditioner by jumping in and then the evaporation while we dried kept us cool.
Wednesday we were on the river again by 8 AM and reached Brookville Park by 2:00. Most of Wednesday there was no shade and it was very hot. On the trip we saw deer, gators, eagle, lots of hawks, osprey, heron family, ibis, Limpkins, and a dead cow that had fallen off a cliff and was lying in the river. But the most amazing was the number of fish. From just below Fort Meade down to Zolfo Springs the number of large mouth bass and a similar fish with a red tail were astonishing. The water was crystal clear and we saw hundreds of fish. If I had a net we could have caught big bass. Two canoeists that were fishing showed us there catch and they were big fish. I am going to go back and just fish one of these days. The parking at the two parks is secure and there is no charge.