You can explore the wilderness of the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s Gulf Coast with this short kayak trail to an uninhabited island full of history. It’s the perfect “starter” kayak trail for an area full of paddling possibilities.
Hontoon Island is a terrific refuge for camping or a stay in a rustic cabin and as a base for a kayaking or canoe trip. The paddle around the island is 10 miles filled with birds and wildlife, past ancient cypress and oak trees. This Central Florida state park is near several other great parks, too.
The waterways along the Intracoastal in New Smyrna Beach are a terrific place to explore by kayak or SUP. Richard Barrett shares some of his favorite routes — places you might overlook when going to the popular beaches in the area.
Our Everglades National Park paddle on the Coot Bay/Mud Lake trail offered two hours of gorgeous scenery through magical mangrove tunnels. It also required about two hours of hard paddling against the wind.
Kayaks and canoes are one of the best ways to surround yourself in the Everglades. Here’s a guide to the trails in the national park.
Environmentalists have won a few battles in Florida and paddling the Ocklawaha is a good reminder. This is a wild, untouched river that was once destined to be lost forever. Today, it is a beautiful spot to explore.
It’s rare in Florida to find a loop trail for kayaks and this one, with three lakes, two creeks and a canal, is a challenge. The 11-mile trail circles the state park.
In the wild and watery world of southwest Florida, Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples draws people who love the natural Florida for camping, hiking and paddling. It’s also home to the 1924 Bay City Walking Dredge, and how often do you get to visit a “National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark”?
West Lake provides a little bit of wildness in the middle of urban sprawl. It is of the most accessible natural places to kayak for 2 million people who live within 45 minutes of it. It is also a great place for a beginner to try out kayaking.
DeLeon Springs, about an hour north of Orlando, is a state parks with swimming, kayaking and fantastic history. But it’s best known for — of all things — its pancakes.
Dunnellon is known for its spectacular Rainbow Springs and River, especially during tubing season. But there are more reasons to visit in cool weather, including another exquisite river– the Withlacoochee — several good restaurants, and trails for both hiking and biking.
MacArthur Beach State Park offers one of my favorite kinds of kayak trails – a trip to an island reachable only by boat. To make it better, historic Munyon Island has an interesting story and great scenery.
For a quick trip to the Keys, consider Gilbert’s Resort. The upgraded 1950s-era motel and tiki bar is the first lodging you reach on the road to Key Largo. Then, kayak nearby Garden Cove and discover its picturesque sunken barge, a good place to snorkel.
Frog Creek is a scenic kayak trail near Tampa Bay that begins in a shady Old Florida river and flows into open salt water and mangrove tunnels. “Paddles in Paradise” authors Ed and Deb Higgins share their story.
Florida’s longest non-motorized trail begins at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola to Key West and then up the east coast to the Georgia state line. Changes made to to the 322-page guide include overnight accommodations, including Mexico Beach where one motel is set to reopen in 2020 while another will not be rebuilt in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
We loved camping at Suwannee River State Park, nestled in quiet woods on a high bluff above the junction of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. A pair of rivers on the move but even a novice paddler can negotiate the currents without difficulty. The Withacoochee River joins the Suwannee at Suwannee River State Park. The …
The 1,140-acre park in eastern Hilllsborough County has a multi-use trail for hiking and cycling, and launch point for the Alafia River Paddle Trail.
The nation’s first wildlife refuge was created by President Teddy Roosevelt to stop plume-hunters from wiping out several species of birds. The birds are back, and spring is a great time to visit. (You’ll need a kayak for a closeup look.)
Not all of Central Florida’s magic is at Disney. North of Orlando is a vast ecological preserve that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities with unique exposure to Florida’s great outdoors.
If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a lodge that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House in Everglades City.
Kayak guru and journalist-author Warren Richey shares his checklist of essential gear for kayak camping to wilderness destinations in Florida.
Wekiva Falls RV Resort may be the largest campground in the state, a small city tucked into an amazing wilderness with a spectacular river.
The Hidden Coast, the Gulf Coast north of Cedar Key, is a wonderland to explore by kayak, according to Nick and Sandra Crowhurst, who have written a kayaking guide that is free for you to download.
Camp Venice is a tree-shaded, privately owned campground nestled in oak hammocks on the banks of the Myakka River.
EVERGLADES CITY — Whitewater paddling in the Everglades? Well, almost. The tides move in and out of the Ten Thousand Islands so quickly, the water rushes and ripples through the passes, so you need to catch the current going in the right direction if you want to make headway.
EVERGLADES CITY — One of my favorite Florida getaways is to boat out to the outer islands and camp for a weekend on a remote, pristine beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico.
This isolated cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West is accessible only by boat or seaplane. But treasures await you, especially if you camp over for a few nights. Yes, you can camp here! Snorkeling and kayaking, too!
Paddling South Florida’s canals is not always a wonder of nature, so explore the tropical back yards of the rich and famous! A network of public canals allows the “rest of us” to get an eyeful of elegantly manicured properties of Boca Raton’s exclusive Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club.
This public park is spread over 900 acres on five interconnected islands with seven miles of waterfront, including three miles of award-winning beaches .Nearly half of the 233 campsites in the campground are waterfront, allowing you to launch your kayak or canoe from your site.