Lafayette Passage Paddling Trail
As of 09/19/12, the Lafayette Passage Paddle Trail is not navigable beyond Piney Z Lake. Low water levels and heavy vegetation in Lower Lake Lafayette make the paddle trail completely impassible. Unless a large rainfall event, of tropical storm proportions, adds substantial water to the lake, the Paddle Trail will likely remain non-navigable until this winter. The entire trail within Piney Z Lake, and the entire Lake surface, remain clear and navigable. Fishing reports for Piney Z Lake are good for Bass, and some bream catches have been reported. Changes in trail conditions will be noted on this site as they occur. For additional information or questions call Chuck Goodheart at 850-933-6631.
About the Trail
The City Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department (PRNA) has assisted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to accomplish a major maintenance operation on the Lafayette Passage Paddle Trail. Specialized equipment completed a project to shred decades of accumulated muck and floating islands of vegetation that clog much of Lower Lake Lafayette, creating open areas to improve fish and wildlife habitat, and assuring long-term navigability on the trail.
Share the trail for Duck Season - Duck hunting is a traditional activity on Lake Lafayette. Trail maintenance and improvement is partially funded through efforts to manage waterfowl habitat and hunting access. In Leon County, hunting is allowed on Wednesdays and weekends, sunrise to sunset, November through February. Hunters are usually present during early morning and late afternoon. During those times, paddlers can show proper courtesy by enjoying only those portions of the trail that are located on City of Tallahassee property, especially all of the 200 acre Piney Z Lake. Hunting is allowed on most of Lower Lake Lafayette. For more information, visit myfwc.com. To contact PRNA staff, call 891-3866 or 933-6631.
This trail is a 7.8 mile round trip from the boat ramp at Piney Z Lake, or a 6 mile round trip from the boat ramp at the end of "Road to The Lake" in Chaires. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Have plenty of water, snacks, proper clothing and know your ability. Paddling the entire trail from Piney Z Lake will take about 4 hours or more. Currently, there are no dry land rest areas provided along the trail.
Entering Lower Lake Lafayette from Piney Z Lake requires a portage over the earthen dam between the lakes. The portage includes a 25' slope from the Piney Z take-out to the top of the dam, and a similar decline to the put-in area on Lower Lake Lafayette. The entire distance is roughly 50'' over a grassed earth. A beach area, covered with small gravel, is located at each end of the portage to facilitate exiting and entering boats.
The "Road to the Lake" is an actual road that follows the railroad track in Chaires. Follow the road to the end, it will enter a wooded area, to a small dirt ramp and small parking area. Boats may be trailer launched. To enter the trail from Piney Z Lake, take Heritage Park Blvd., which goes through the Piney Z Plantation neighborhood, off of Conner Blvd. Heritage Park Blvd. will end at the Lafayette Heritage Trail Park parking area. A large dirt parking area is provided at the south end of the parking lot and signs show how to reach the hand boat launch located there. Boats must be carried 120' to the launch.
Piney Z Rules
- Fishing license required - including cane poles
- Swimming, firearms, and alcoholic beverages prohibited
- Hand-launched watercraft only, no gasoline motors
- No motor vehicles on dams, spillways or fishing fingers
- Use or possession of minnow seines or cast nets prohibited
- No person shall kill or possess any black bass
- No person shall take in any one day:
- More than 20 panfish in the aggregate
- More than 6 channel catfish
The Piney Z Lake Fish Managemnt Area is cooperatively managed by The City of Tallahassee and The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
For information please call the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department Trail Supervisor, Chuck Goodheart, at 933-6631.