Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | LAKE TOHOPEKALIGA - Kissimmee, Fla.

8 photos
Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho for short) is a grand lake in Kissimmee, Florida. Its name is native for "sleeping tiger" after the sudden storms that appear in the summer time. It is the primary inflow of Shingle Creek, which rises in Orlando. It covers 18,810 acres and spans 42 miles in diameter. Linked to East Lake Tohopekaliga by three-mile Canal 31 running through western St. Cloud, and four-mile South Port Canal, located at the southern tip of the lake linking it to Cypress Lake, Lake Tohopekaliga is the largest lake in Osceola County and is known for its bass fishing.

For kayaking purposes, Brinson Park on Neptune Road is not the best place to put-in...but I didn't know that until I got there. There is a great pier to fish from here, but no launch points nearby...anywhere. I managed to pull my boat over a weeded area near the bridge, but it was steep and definitely not ideal...still, it got me in the water, and that's what mattered for this trip. There are better put-ins around the lake, and I think I'll check them out next time around.
Not far from my put-in was the day's first awesome sight: a Great Blue Heron capturing breakfast.After showing me its conquest for many minutes, this regal bird flapped away, prey securely speared.Among the beauties spotted on this paddle, a Snowy Egret granted me several snaps before flying off.Due to the scorching heat, I didn't get far on Lake Toho, but saw some cool sights in short order.On the other side of this bridge, just to the right of the Egret seen here, was my put-in...oy.In search of a more user-friendly take-out, I spotted a pack o' Limpkins.Not sure if it was the same Great Blue I snapped earlier, but still a worthy subject.Unable to find any better option, I returned to my starting point...and lived to paddle another day!