“Dad, can we go back to Minnie’s Lake today,” my daughter asked. She always loves paddling through the scenic, narrow channel of the Red Trail looking for baby alligators along the way. And then when nearing Minnie’s Lake, the scene opens up as the trees retreat the shrubs back off. There are typically gators galore… and don’t forget the rest dock and latrine!
Minnie’s Lake is under 4 miles from the Stephen C Foster boat launch. If you’re an experienced paddler, this is no big deal at all. But even if a 7.5 mile round-trip paddle seems like a daunting task, it is well worth the toil. Because of the current on the Suwannee River, the trip up to Minnie’s lake is a bit harder. If you stop paddling, you may drift downstream. But push through and you’ll have a chance to rest at the platform. The paddle home is always leisurely, allowing more opportunity to enjoy the Swamp scenes.
There is always a mixture of sizes of alligators on Minnie’s Lake. The edges of the lake are lined with Spatterdock lily pads and floating masses of “gator taters” which provide perfect basking spots for even the larger alligators. They seem quite accustomed to visitors on Minnie’s Lake and will often hold their positions allowing for some great photography.
iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42307343