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The Sunshine State attracts paddlers since there are many rivers to kayak in Florida. Kayakers can paddle through marshes or whitewater rapids on the state’s over 1,000 kilometers of waterways. Florida’s rivers offer some of the most magnificent wilderness in the US, various wildlife, and fascinating exploring opportunities. We’ll explore some of Florida’s greatest paddling rivers and offer insider tips to help you plan a memorable vacation. Explore Florida’s waterways with kayaks, paddles, and life vests.
Best Rivers To Kayak In Florida Are Worth Experiencing
Florida’s rivers and waterways are kayakers’ heaven. Here are some of the best rivers to kayak in Florida, depending on what you want in a kayaking experience. No matter how much you know about kayaking, this list of waterways in the Sunshine State has the right one for you.
If you want to paddle at a slow pace, try the Withlacoochee River or the Blackwater River. Check out the Suwannee River or the Santa Fe River if you want a more difficult trip. And those who want to try something new should try paddling down the St. Johns River. You’ll enjoy kayaking in Florida’s lovely nature on any river. Florida’s rivers offer varied ecosystems. It has twisting creeks through lush woods to peaceful springs and clear tributaries. Kayaking down any of these rivers lets you see birds, fish, and other animals up close. So, whether you’ve never paddled or done it a lot, a river in Florida is perfect for you. Get out on the water, soak up the sun, and make memories that will last a lifetime!
The best rivers to kayak in Florida are the spots people often visit for peace and escapades. It’s where plenty of flat and whitewater spots are for paddling. Also, travelers can see all sorts of aquatic wildlife within and along the shores. Still, friendly locals and experts cater who always prepare and cater to guests. So, whatever size and type of boat and excursion travelers are looking for, Florida likely has it.
Besides, the Sunshine State has more than a thousand miles of coastline. It also has thousands of rivers and creeks. Many of these areas are for serene and fast-moving activities. It’s only up to the excursionists to pick which locations to visit. Thus, when it comes to water recreation, going to Florida is an excellent decision.
Before Trying The Best Rivers To Kayak In Florida
Instead of heading to one of Florida’s waterways immediately, prepare first. After all, it’s in having readiness wherein trips become safe and enjoyable. Be ready even if there are people in the areas for recreation to guide and provide for travelers. As tourists, we are still responsible for ourselves. Thus consider a few things before reaching the exciting places to visit in Florida.
Things To Think About Before Kayaking
- Kayaks and canoes are different things. The shape of the vessels only has similarities. More often than not, canoes are more prominent with their tops open.
- Kayaks are easier to maneuver, considering that they are smaller. Plus, they use double-blade paddles for alternate paddling to move on the water. So it’s easy to see why they move faster and can change directions. Canoes can move faster with at least two persons. That would be since people on them use single-blade paddles. So it may be challenging to go in straight lines on a canoe.
Usually, canoes are longer and around 16 to 17 feet long. Kayaks are often shorter and about 10 feet long only. But there are more extended versions of kayaks too.
- There are different hardshell and inflatable kayaks for sale and rent. While there are those for solo kayaking, there are those for tandem tours. Folks use them to enjoy the serenity and also to overcome challenging rivers. There are even folks who kayak for fishing. Thus, there are many options for recreation.
Some Of The Best Rivers to Kayak In Florida
Florida has around 1,700 rivers distributed in different counties. Many navigate them for leisure purposes. Yet some rank to be the best. Here are some examples of the ones that folks recommend and frequent.
- Fort Lauderdale Waterways
- Some That Provide Leisure Opportunities In Fort Lauderdale
- Southwest Florida Waters
- Some Companies That Make Southwest Florida Enjoyable
- When is the best time to kayak in Florida’s rivers?
- What should you watch out for if you’re going to kayak down a Florida river?
- Can you tell me about some places in Florida that kayakers must see?
Fort Lauderdale Waterways
The city has many or about 300 miles of navigable intercoastal waterways. The artificial and natural channels allow for activities like paddleboard and kayaking. These make it possible to see the city afar and immerse in nature and local wildlife. There are many scenic views, like Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Thus folks call the place the Venice of America in South Florida.
Passing these canals can even lead to the historic New River within Broward County. This place has the best places to kayak in Fort Lauderdale. Examples are North Fork, South Fork, Middle River, and Tarpon River. Since it connects to the sea, people get surrounded by fresh, salt, and brackish water. So people get plenty when trying the waters of Fort Lauderdale.
Some That Provide Leisure Opportunities In Fort Lauderdale
Blue Moon Outdoor Adventures
This company offers rentals for experienced paddlers and tours for beginners. It provides boating equipment for two to four hours or an entire day. That’s from $30 to $45 for single and tandem kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for two hours. The rate is $75 to $90 for a whole-day rental. Yet there are also options for renting waterbikes and jetskis too.
- It offers daytime and sunset rentals and tours. Reservations are necessary even for expert services.
- Address: George English Park, 1101 Bayview Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Official Website: https://bluemoonkayak.com/
Las Olas Paddle Boards, Boats & Kayaks
This group is a hit in providing the right equipment for tourists. They have an excellent selection for cruising some of Florida’s best rivers to kayak. It has a variety of boats and even tours to reach and enjoy the best places to kayak in Fort Lauderdale. Paddleboard and kayak rentals cost $30 for 90 minutes. But there’s an All-Day Pass for $45. Yet the rates get more expensive when renting group paddleboards and kayaks. Yet, at least tourists get safety equipment and lessons in all options.
- It has kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, mini powerboats, and things to get watercraft motorized. In some of their offers, they allow pets and music while on water.
- Address: 934 NE 20th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Official Website: https://www.lasolaspaddleboards.com/
Southwest Florida Waters
Some Companies That Make Southwest Florida Enjoyable
Withlacoochee River RV And Canoe Rental
It’s a travel and tour company that provides for and guides tourists in getting to and around the river. This one allows travelers to ride boats to immerse themselves in the forests. That is while having the chance to fish for marine life and other creatures in kayaks and canoes. Aside from taking photos of birds, butterflies, and others, narrations are also available. Thus travelers can have a paddling experience, scenic views, and stories.
- Caretakers should add the rental fees and other rates to the official Website. Yet there are details about the spots on the river where the boats pass. Trips often last 2 hours but can be longer than that if requested.
- Address: Withlacoochee River, Canoe Rentals
- Official Website: https://canoegatorstyles.com/
Adventure Kayak Outfitters Sarasota and Desoto Kayak Tours and Rentals
These groups help tourists see creatures like manatees in the mangrove tunnels. They also guide people in seeing dolphins swim during kayaking. That is within and even beyond the Myakka State Park, Sarasota. The charge is about $55 for a single kayak and $110 for a tandem type. So they provide the best places to kayak in Southwest Florida and worthy experiences. That’s all for reasonable rates.
- They urge travelers to bring a camera, sunscreen, hat, eyewear, and water for hydration. It may become too sunny in the Myakka river during morning and afternoon tours.
- Address: 190 Taft Dr, Sarasota for the AKO Sarasota. Emerson Point Preserve 6400 17th St., West Palmetto for the Desoto Kayak Tours. Both are in the South of Florida.
- Official website: https://www.adventurekayakoutfitters.com/ and https://www.desotokayaktours.com/
Safety When Trying The Best Rivers To Kayak in Florida
River kayaking is enjoyable when people are out of harm’s way. That way, it would be possible and easy to appreciate the water and surroundings. Besides, often, some kayaking problems are preventable. So check the pretty places to visit in Florida but stay safe.
- Put on the proper outfit and accessories. Wear something for the water. Paddlers often get wet. Have a personal floating device such as a lifejacket too. It’s to have an assurance of staying afloat even after falling into the water.
- Consider having some things for safety while kayaking. Examples of essential items to carry are those for communication and navigational devices. Please place them in plastic bags or reliable containers to keep them dry and functional. With them comes peace of mind when getting to and around the exciting places to visit in Florida.
- Check the weather first. Before launching, it is imperative to do this. Extreme weather conditions affect the environment. So, to avoid dangers, see the weather forecast only when it’s likely safe for kayaking.
Paddling signals. Before going, travelers need awareness of these things. It’s to know how to communicate while boating without using words. With these gestures, it would be possible to stay on course, avoid dangers, and help others.
When is the best time to kayak in Florida’s rivers?
Kayaking in Florida’s rivers is popular in late fall and early spring when it’s more relaxed and less humid. At the same time, you won’t have to deal with the crowds of people that often block up famous rivers in the summer.
What should you watch out for if you’re going to kayak down a Florida river?
Bring sunscreen and bug spray, a life jacket, and drink water. Listen to the weather report, and only go kayaking if there’s a chance of storms. Watch the tides and currents, and always paddle with a friend or group.
Can you tell me about some places in Florida that kayakers must see?
Some of the most popular places to see in Florida while kayaking are the clean springs on the Weeki Wachee River, the wildlife-filled Ocklawaha River, and the historic Suwannee River, which inspired for the song “Old People at Home.” You can also go to the Withlacoochee River, the Blackwater River, or the St. Johns River.