Enjoy the outdoors and explore the rivers, springs, islands, beaches, lakes, swamps and marshes throughout Central Florida.
Paddle with Dolphin, Manatee, Otters, and yes, Alligators (but don’t worry, you are not on their menu). You may well spot such magnificent birds as the southern Bald Eagle, White Pelicans, Red Headed Woodpeckers, and Great Blue Heron.
Florida Kayaking Tours
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge home to the largest number of endangered plant and bird species of all US refuges.
- Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon paddle through this estuary island hoping where at least seven distinct Indian cultures, Spanish explorers, and civil war troops have occupied as early as 7000 BC.
- Canaveral National Seashore recognized as one of our country’s most beautiful beaches.
- Econlockhatchee/St. John’s Rivers snake along these windy rivers in the Florida back country gliding through hardwood and cypress forests.
By Joy Atkinson (Summer Intern)
Did someone mention nature? I had the opportunity to witness it first hand by going on a kayaking adventure in Titusville, FL. Just 45 minutes from Orlando, pretty close to Cocoa Beach. It’s located on the Atlantic Ocean, so beaches are very plentiful. There are no beaches in Orlando, making it that much more appealing. It’s also near the Kennedy Space Center. For all those knowledgeable space lovers.
The water was warm. This was a nice surprise. It was pretty shallow, which made it perfect if I was to lose control of the kayak. However, I soon found out that to tip a kayak over, I have to be trying to flip a kayak over. So, that was encouraging to find out. We kayaked to a bird sanctuary. This island had thousands of birds scattered along the shoreline. Bird watchers can view Southern Bald Eagle, Roseatte Spoonbill, Redish Egret, Limpkin, White Pelican, ood
Stork, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron and very endangered Scrub Jay . Since I was paddling myself, I was able to view what birds I wanted to because I was the captain of my kayak.
He then led me into the no wake zone of the trip. This was the special manatee area. It even has a short boardwalk for people to walk out to see the manatees because they are known to eat in this large water holding off of the ocean.You will also encounter alligators, fish, stingrays, crab,s jellyfish and otters.
Wildlife you can expect to see are Wild Hogs, Deer, Black Bear, Racoon, Bobcat.
Continuing down the waterway, we spotted an otter hanging out along the rock edge. The kayaking itself was very enjoyable and exciting. There was not a strong current, causing little resistance to propel the kayak. The scenery was beautiful. Since I went so late in the evening, the sky was magnificent. All the green trees and blue green water just set a pictorial scene of the real Florida. Nothing man made, just pure nature to capture my attention. It created a stress free, worry free, healthy environment. After the 45 minute drive from Orlando, it felt wonderful to do some exercise in a place where you did not see concrete everywhere you turned. The trip was at my own pace allowing me to enjoy every aspect.
My advice to you, bring sunscreen. More then likely the sun will be at it’s strongest when you are paddling around in the water. Since you are so close to the water, the water acts as a mirror causing the sun to be that much stronger. Bring water and possibly some food for afterward. I would suggest cameras that have a case of some sort. There is a good possibility that you will not get wet, but there is always a slim chance that you will. There are plenty of photo opportunities; I took advantage of them myself.
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