Night-time can be a peaceful or romantic time to kayak. Many parks and outfitters offer full-moon kayaking and canoe trips. Some encourage participants to bring a bottle of wine; others end the night with a campfire and s’mores.
A twist on night kayaking is bioluminescent kayaking, where you paddle on the darkest nights (when there isn’t a full-moon) in order to see creatures that are like underwater lightning bugs. Here’s a Florida Rambler story on bioluminescent kayaking.
Full moons in 2023
- Friday, Sept. 29 Full Moon: Super Harvest Moon
- Saturday, Oct. 28 Full Moon: Hunter’s Moon
- Monday, Nov. 27 Full Moon: Beaver Moon
- Wednesday, Dec. 27 Full Moon: Cold Moon
Full moons in 2024
- Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024: Full Wolf Moon
- Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024: Full Snow Moon
- Monday, March 25, 2024: Full Worm Moon
- Tuesday, April 23, 2024: Full Pink Moon
- Thursday, May 23, 2024: Full Flower Moon
- Friday, June 21, 2024: Full Strawberry Moon
- Sunday, July 21, 2024: Full Buck Moon
- Monday, Aug. 19, 2024: Super Sturgeon Moon
- Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2024: Super Harvest Moon
- Thursday, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2024: Super Hunter’s Moon
- Friday, Nov. 15, 2024: Super Beaver Moon
- Sunday, Dec. 15, 2024: Full Cold Moon
If you have your own kayak, you can launch at your favorite spot and see it in an all new light.
Outfitters generally choose a Saturday night closest to the full moon for their night-time kayak trips.
Here is a sampling of places offering full-moon kayak trips. In addition to these, check for paddling outfitters and state parks near you; the popularity of night kayaking has made them common offerings.
Full-moon kayaking in South Florida
Oleta River State Park, North Miami, every month. Visiting this park, in the middle of the bustle of Miami, is like a mini-vacation.
Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale, offers a monthly 45 minute paddle along an ancient and fresh water coastal dune lake for a mile, through a little piece of the Everglades.
In Key West, the Marriott Beachside Hotel is home to an outfitter that offers full-moon tours.
In the Fort Myers area, Gaea Guides offers full moon tours as well as sunset and and other kayak adventures.
In the Naples and Marco Island area, Rising Tide Explorers offers a sunset tour through an active bird rookery, where you see flocks of birds come in to roost.
Night kayaking in Central Florida
At Sebastian Inlet State Park in Melbourne Beach, full-moon tours explore explore the Indian River Lagoon. Details.
In the Orlando area, there are full-moon tours on Shingle Creek, a beautiful bit of wildness surrounded by suburbia. More at the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek.
On the Indian River Lagoon, an outfitter offers moonlight kayak tours regularly. In the summer, if you paddle on a truly dark night, you can experience bioluminescence — when creatures in the water glow like underwater lightning bugs. Here’s more about night-time paddling A Day Away Kayak Tours in Titusville.
Adventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach offers full-moon paddles on Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach.
Mote Marine Laboratory takes paddlers on Sarasota Bay for full moons.
Near Tampa, Canoe Outpost Little Manatee River, offers full moon paddles, including shuttle service for those who bring their own kayaks or canoes. (The Little Manatee is a beautiful and wild paddle.)
The Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach offers full-moon tours. For these tours, you can bring your own kayak or paddleboard and pay a reduced fee.
Full-moon kayaking in North Florida
In Homosassa, sunset and full-moon tours venture out on one of the least developed and wildest rivers in Florida, the Chassahowitzka. Details.
Near Tallahassee, long-time outfitters T-N-T Hide-A-Way offers full-moon tours on the Wakullah. It’s a leisurely one-way downstream paddle with a shuttle.
Note: Many other kayak and canoe outfitters all over the state offer full-moon kayaking, so check with your local outfitter or park. Most, but not all, require you to rent canoes or kayaks from them for the trips. Each outfitter is different, so call ahead. Most require advance registration and these trips do fill up during winter
Most night kayaking activities take place on weekends closest to the full moons. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations.
And let us know about full-moon kayaking events that aren’t listed here so we can update our listings and share them with others.
More Florida kayaking resources:
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The author, Bonnie Gross, travels with her husband David Blasco, discovering off-the-beaten path places to hike, kayak, bike, swim and explore. Florida Rambler was founded in 2010 by Bonnie and fellow journalist Bob Rountree, two long-time Florida residents who have spent decades exploring the Florida outdoors. Their articles have been published in the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, The Guardian and Visit Florida.