The Narrows

River Narrows Suwannee Sill canoe trail directional sign; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 2, 2020. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at

Between the open skies of Billy’s Lake and the prairie landscape of Mixon’s Hammock lies a twisting, constricted canoe trail called “The Narrows”. The sky overhead is darkened by Black Gum, Cypress, Bay, Red Maple and Dahoon Holly. The eye-level view left and right is overcrowded by Titi, Hurrah Bush and other shrubs. Unless the refuge cutter boats have recently passed through, sharp sticks and twigs stab toward the narrow channel hoping to impale the unskilled kayaker.

The current flows westward from Billy’s Lake toward the Sill. This seems like an advantage to the westbound paddler, but don’t be deceived. The current can carry you along so quickly that steering becomes difficult and pushes you into the scratchy shrubs lining the narrow channel. Many of these protruding limbs are tipped with spiders, and even snakes, to jump aboard the canoe.

A Brown Watersnake overhangs the canoe trail through The Narrows; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 2, 2020.©
Golden Silk Spider; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 4, 2020. ©

Even though the current is against you heading back to Billy’s Lake, I have found it a much more enjoyable journey with time as the steering is much more manageable.

iNaturalist observations:


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