Kayak & Canoe

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

The park is beautiful, and the paddling opportunities are numerous, but the campground is just fair. The spring is a great place to swim when you seek to escape the summer heat, but you can’t swim here in winter because its overrun by manatees seeking safe haven.

Withlacoochee River by B A Bowen Photography via Flickr

The Withlacoochee River: One of Florida’s most scenic kayak trails

The Withlacoochee River meanders through an unspoiled forest in rural Florida but still within an hour of Orlando and Tampa.

Flagler Beach: Escape to a real Florida beach town

Flagler Beach: Escape to a real Florida beach town

FLAGLER BEACH — This quaint little beachside community is a refreshing change from the high-rise condos and hotels that populate much of Florida’s coast.

The sky reflected along  Nine Mile Pond canoe trail

Everglades canoe trail: Exploring Nine Mile Pond

A canoe or kayak trail at Everglades National Park is a perfect way to surround yourself with the sights, sounds and creatures of the Everglades. On our recent trip, a 15-foot crocodile smiled as we paddled by.

Were they begging? Just curious? We looked but didn't touch.

Weeki Wachee Springs: Kayaking, manatees and mermaids

Weeki Wachee Springs is famous for its Old Florida mermaid show, but it also makes an outstanding kayaking trip. If you’re lucky, you will paddle with manatees. Afterward, if you’re in the mood for nostalgia, see the show that made Weeki Wachee a place even Elvis had to visit.

Free trail maps are great inspiration for Gulf Coast paddling trips

Free trail maps are great inspiration for Gulf Coast paddling trips

It’s time to plan this season’s canoe and kayak outings, and a free set of excellent paddling trail maps from the Great Calusa Blueway is certain to give you inspiration.

Cypress trees on the Loxahatchee River

Loxahatchee River: Kayak a wild, scenic river in South Florida

Within an hour’s drive of the urban tangle of South Florida, one of Florida’s two nationally designated “wild and scenic” rivers meanders through a spectacularly lovely cypress swamp. You can experience the river in a two- or three-hour loop or paddle the full 8-mile scenic trail.

Classic Keys cabins are good kayaking base

Classic Keys cabins are good kayaking base

Don’t rush through the Keys to Key West. Stop and savor the recreational opportunities with a stay at Old Wooden Bridge Cabins, an off-the-beaten-path spot that is a perfect base for kayaking, seeing Key deer or visiting Bahia Honda State park.

Ichetucknee Springs ( 
FWC photo by Karen Parker)

Cool idea: Florida’s best river for tubing, the Ichetucknee

All those “lazy river” water attractions at hotels and parks are just trying to recreate the exhilarating experience of tubing the Ichetucknee River in north central Florida. Try the real thing, where you’ll float past pristine cypress forests and look into water so clear you can see a pebble on the river’s bottom through six or seven feet of water.

Egret in Biscayne Bay

Exploring Biscayne Bay by canoe or kayak

Biscayne Bay is a boater’s paradise, and that includes those with kayaks and canoes. These quiet paddlers can explore bird rookeries. A Barry University professor has captured close-up photos of many birds during her paddles.

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