Polk County and Fort Meade have developed a series of boat launching areas along the Peace River and Polk County parks officials are developing wayfinding along portions of the river in southern Polk where the main channel is not always evident.
But more needs to be done.
Decades ago Polk County had a small department whose job was to keep the Peace River open to recreational boaters by removing everything from water hyacinths to downed trees.
Water hyacinths don’t seem to be a serious problem anymore south of Lake Hancock, but downed trees are another issue.
At the moment water flow in the section of the river in Polk County is barely enough to make paddling practical. But even in places where it is practical to launch, don’t expect to be able to reach Hardee County at the moment because fallen trees block passage.
The most visible blockage is in the section at Peace River Hammock just south of the Fort Meade launching area.
From the photo above it is obvious this is not a simple or easy job, but if local officials are serious about attracting paddlers, this would be a good step in the right direction.