Florida And Its Kayaking Options
Whether you're looking for a challenge and a chance to test your kayaking skills or just looking to see Florida from another point of view, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Participating in a reputable kayak tour is a good way to see what Florida has to offer.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida is a popular destination for many organized kayak tours. A Day Away Outfitters offer several tours based in the refuge.
Manatee Encounter: kayaking with this beloved Florida resident and endangered species can be a fun and enlightening experience. The tour lasts two hours and manatee sightings are guaranteed from April to October. Difficulty rating is easy. Birding Tour: This 90 minute kayaking tour gives paddlers the chance to see some of Florida's migratory and native birds. Spoonbills, herons, egrets and more call the refuge home. Difficulty rating is easy.
Black Night/Cold Light Bioluminescent Night Tour: This isn't a refuge tour but it is highly recommended. In the summer, the waters of the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon light up thanks to bioluminescence. Every movement produces light. Manatees glow, sting rays look like something out of something out of science fiction movies and fast moving little fish look like glow-in-the-dark rockets. The tour lasts 2 1/2 hours. Bioluminescence is guaranteed June through September. Difficulty rating is easy. Kayakers can truly see Florida in a whole new light.
Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail
This popular sea kayaking destination in Florida is one of the longest and wildest publicly owned wetlands in the United States. The 105 mile trail features a big variety of marine and bird life. White pelicans, egrets, bald eagles and ospreys inhabit the area. In the water, kayakers are likely to see crabs, fish, sea turtles, manatee, cannonball jelly fish, small sharks and rays.
Six designated campsites are spread out over the trail. Camping permits are required and guide books are available. The trail is open from September 1 to June 30th.
Blue Cypress Lake
Club kayak details several available Florida kayak routes and tours. Blue Cypress Lake is one of them. Freshwater kayaking at Florida's Blue Cypress Lake requires moderate kayaking skills. Round trip from Middleton's Fish Camp to Moonshine Bay is 7 miles.
The lake contains largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and blue gill in addition to other fish species. Cypress trees, often filled with osprey, surround the launch area. Available side trips include exploring the cypress swamp, complete with subtropical ferns, mosquitoes and alligators.
Weeki Wachee River
Also detailed by Club kayak is Weeki Wachee, a Florida spring discharging over 64 million gallons of water daily. Kayaking this Florida waterway, paddlers are likely to see manatee, alligators, raccoons, otters and a variety of birds. Often-sighted birds include ducks, ibis, pelicans, herons, osprey, wood storks and cormorants. Eight miles along, the Weeki Wachee meets the Gulf of Mexico.
Difficulty rating is beginner to advanced and distance ranges from 4 to 16 miles. Kayaking options in Florida range from freshwater to saltwater and from calm water to rushing water. Kayaking tours are an excellent way to try out new waterways. State parks and kayaking trails are another option.