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.
Kayak & Canoe
The Lido Key Mangrove Trail is a well-known scenic kayak trail in Sarasota. Guest contributors Ed and Deb Higgins love paddling with friendly cormorants and weaving in and out of mangrove tunnels.
You’ll discover a natural world without traffic and crowds when you’re kayaking Deer Prairie Creek in North Port. This tributary of the Myakka River is quiet, off-the-beaten track and not widely known outside its neighboring area.
The Dora Canal could be the prettiest one mile you’ll paddle in Florida. The waterway connects Lake Dora and Lake Eustis in Tavares, just west of Mount Dora.
Florida winters were meant for this: Discovering wild and scenic places by kayak. To help you plan fun Florida kayak trips, I’ve selected three of my favorite kayak destinations in Southwest Florida. These aren’t well-known but deserve to be.
Hidden among the tidal marshes, Tomoka State Park offers a shady campground, miles of paddle trails, biking and hiking, and a productive fishery.
Cabbage Key is reachable only by boat. It’s popular as a lunch-cruise destination. But stay overnight in the inn or cabins to discover its true charms. On our visit, we also found it’s a great base for exploring by kayak.
This Punta Gorda creek should be better known. Its tree canopy and unspoiled Old Florida feel offer kayakers natural beauty and wildlife, all in an easy, accessible day paddle.