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
Chances are, you’ve never heard of Blue Cypress Lake near Yeehaw Junction. If that’s so, you’re missing a spectacular natural lake rimmed by old growth cypress trees and home to hundreds of ospreys and osprey nests. This lake is the headwaters of the mighty St. Johns River. What a great kayak destination!
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park — the biggest state park in Florida — is a vast, wild place near Everglades City. Year after year, we drove right past, but there are three great reasons to spend time here. We’re glad we did.
Kelly Park is best known for popular Rock Springs Run, but this fabulous Orange County park also has one of the nicest campgrounds anywhere, a fabulous swimming area, playgrounds and picnic areas.
When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.
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. Recently, Jupiter Outdoor Center re-opened the kayak and canoe rental operation in Riverbend Park, allowing visitors to paddle the best section of the river.
The clear waters flowing out of Alexander Springs are the start of a great paddling trail inside Ocala National Forest. It’s an easy stream to paddle with lots of wildlife, especially birds and fish.
The variety and size of kayaks is almost endless, and it’s difficult to decide which yak is best for you. We hope this guide will help you make that decision.