Kayak & Canoe

View of Pine Island Sound

Our favorite canoe and kayak trails: Best kayaking spots in Florida

This is your first step in planning adventures for the coming cooler weather. We’ve paddled dozens of Florida waterways and here’s our pick for the best places to kayak by region plus a few “unsung” favorites we recommend you discover.

The view from the diving platform at Wakulla Springs. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Wakulla & St. Marks: Out of the way, this Big Bend area is full of discoveries

The Big Bend area of Florida around St. Marks and Wakulla Springs is rich in things to do and see: Kayaking, biking, historic sites, springs, lighthouses. Yet, it is a less visited area off the tourist trail.

Lafayette forms two beautiful pools of water, each lined with limestone rocks, surrounded by hard packed earth and separated by a natural limestone bridge.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Springs & the Suwannee: Two northwest Florida parks are great bases for exploring

Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.

As the sun sets over Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, kayaks are lined up ready to launch for a bioluminescent kayak trip. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

A Florida summer thrill: Night-time kayaking in a bioluminescent glow

On dark summer nights in the Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, the water glows from bioluminescent plankton. Kayak tours help visitors see the spectacular light show.

We spotted dolphin in Estero Bay three times on our kayak trip to Mound Key State Archaeological Park. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Mound Key: Kayak to archaeological park, once center of its world

A fascinating kayak destination: Mound Key Archaeological State Park, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat near Fort Myers Beach. The ceremonial center of the Calusa people, Mound Key is one of a kind and is surrounding by waters full of wildlife.

Little Bahia Honda Island, two-thirds of a mile out in the Atlantic, has a view of the historic saddleback bridge at Bahia Honda State Park.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Kayaking Bahia Honda State Park: Clear water and a tiny island to discover

The popular Lower Keys park is perfect for kayak outings. You can kayak around the island or head out to tiny picturesque Little Bahia Honda Island.

Rhesus monkey at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Kayaking Silver Springs: Exquisite trail for kayaks is highlight of Silver River

The new Silver Springs State Park near Ocala gives kayakers their first chance to launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway that has never been open to kayakers before.

Paddle Florida: 2017-18 kayak trips explore Florida’s top waterways

Paddle Florida: 2017-18 kayak trips explore Florida’s top waterways

Paddle Florida is a non-profit that organizes a few paddling trips each year on Florida’s greatest waterways. Limited in size and carefully researched, these trips are great for solo paddlers or folks who appreciate a little support in undertaking a several day paddling and camping trip.

Oak arches over the kayak trail on the St. Lucie River South Branch

St. Lucie River: Beautiful kayak trail deserves discovery

The St. Lucie River is not a well-known kayaking destination — and it should be. It’s wild and gorgeous — a jungly forest of old live oaks thick with airplants and Spanish moss. After paddling about two hours, you reach a remote area where you can picnic and take a hike.

Kayaking the Alafia River near Tampa

Alafia River: Kayaking through tame rapids a half hour from Tampa

This cypress-lined Alafia river has an unusual feature for Florida: Rocky shoals that create fun rapids to kayak. It’s near hiking trails, springs and a very nice paddling trail at Little Manatee River State Park.

An antique train trestle on the Little Manatee River is a good place for a lunch break. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Little Manatee River near Tampa: Great for kayakers, hikers & campers

Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.

5 ways to explore Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands

5 ways to explore Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands

Vast and remote, the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s southwest coast seems challenging to visit, a labyrinth of twisting channels through thousands of remote mangrove islands.

Stop at little known Lake Griffin State Park for a famous tree and more

Stop at little known Lake Griffin State Park for a famous tree and more

A very old, very big live oak tree inspired me to stop at this park near the Villages in Central Florida, and I found it to be a nice place to picnic, paddle and take a short hike.

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