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  1. #1
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    Default Suwannee alligators?

    Florida Hikes website mentions keeping dogs away from the water's edge due to gators yet they suggest camping on the white sands at the water's edge. This is confusing information. What is the gator situation along the river?

  2. #2
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    What I've heard is dogs will splash in the water attracting a gator. Otherwise they are basically like bears, they are probably more scared of you and stay away.

  3. #3
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    Over the years I've done a lot of canoe trips in the south. My experience on "wild" rivers like the Suwannee is you won't see many gators. I never saw more than one gator per trip when paddling. Of course, there are more out there but they're really not much of an issue. Now...if you really want to see gators, head northward to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. There were days were you'd see 15+ gators in a mile of paddling There's a huge difference in what you'll see when the animals know they live in a protected location.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper

  4. #4

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    I spent a couple weeks in the Florida swamps with two children in their teens, and saw the same kinds of warnings about dogs, and the proximity of camping sites to alligators. Sometimes the prospective tent site would be within 15 yards of waters with gators in them. We were assured that they would not bother us, but there were a number of times I opted to move on some to be a bit further from the water. I used to do long runs in one such area, and would pass within about two yards of gater infested waters, and regularly see them watching me, but never had any problems. However, people who had dogs which splashed the water would regularly find the dogs were dinner. I think the comment above about gators being like bears is somewhat enlightening, and I do agree in principle, but I still prefer to sleep a bit further away.
    Trail name Catnapper

  5. #5
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    That is good advice regarding dogs around any Florida river or pond. As to camping on the sandy shores, I have never experienced a gator encounter in the past 25 years of Suwannee river trips. The sand bars are a great place to set up camp. Another camping resource is the Suwannee River Water management District's river camps. The camps were developed by the district at regular intervals on the upper Suwannee . Each camp has at least 4 raised chickee platforms with roof, total screen enclosure, a ceiling fan, light, and one electrical outlet .They can be reserved. The river camps have flush toilets, hot showers, a covered pavillion and tent spaces for overflow. There is usually a caretaker that can supply small amounts of ice and firewood at reasonable cost. The river camps are available only to boats, canoes and kayaks. While there is an access road for maintenance, no car camping is allowed. If you have a group, outfitters are allowed access to pick up / drop off and to bring in catered meals.
    Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
    óM. C. Richards

  6. #6
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    Go here for more info. They are still free. https://www.floridastateparks.org/pa...ss-state-trail
    Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
    óM. C. Richards

  7. #7
    Registered User GaryM's Avatar
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    "Gators are ambush predators. They will lunge out of the water for a meal but I can't imagine them running 10 yards up the bank for something. The sand is nice and in some places it does go up higher. Also there are many protected hollows just yards from the river that could possibly make a good spot.
    ./~Hi ho, hi ho, it's up the trail I go ./~

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  9. #9
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    I'm no biologist, but I have lived and hiked and kayaked in Louisiana for 30 years. Like so many other predators, alligators have an instinctive yes/no switch for prey based on size relative to them. Attacks are almost always on dogs or small children,almost never on adults, and almost always by bigger gators. When I'm kayaking, the bigger the gator, the less they care about me. Little ones (<6') swim away immediately, big ones (10'-12') wait until I'm closer to swim away, and huge ones (>12') ignore me completely.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  10. #10

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    Although there aren't as many gators in that area as the the lower area's. There are still a few. From a gators perspective we look giants, because their eyes are so low to the ground. So we don't look like there food. A dog is close to the ground, so they do. Also splashing attracts gators like a injured animal. Alligators are also a ambush predator, so they my be laying anywhere waiting for something to come by the looks like their food. So I prefer to stay in the shallow water and I bring no dog. It can put them in a lot of danger.

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