Kayak and Canoe News

10 Best Kayaking Trips in Florida

With so many outstanding opportunities for kayaking in the State of Florida, how do you decide where to go? According to the readers of Florida Kayaker, here are the Top 10 best kayaking adventures in Florida. Got some suggestions of your own? Check out the Florida Kayaker Forum and cast your vote!

Suwannee River Kayaking

The Suwannee River – #10

The blackwater Suwannee River runs 246 miles from Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp down through north Florida dividing the panhandle from the Florida peninsula on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Although generally smooth paddling, the river also includes a few stretches of whitewater that are rarities in Florida. The most popular section is the Suwanee River Wilderness Trail that runs 40 miles between the historic tourist resort of White Springs and the Suwannee River State Park. Another favorite is the Stephen Foster State Park. Photo: PhotIssilver77 / iStock

NUCANOE – Unlimit Yourself! Wekiwa River Kayaking

Wekiwa Springs – #9

Located just minutes north of the hustle and bustle of Orlando, Wekiwa Sproul ings State Park in Apopka comes in Number 9 on the Florida Kayaker’s list of top kayaking destinations in the state. It’s a refreshing alternative to the big theme parks, with its swimming area at the head spring and beautiful sandy bottom. The 16 mile Wekiwa River gives visitors a taste of real adventure on the edge of the big city. Get more info at Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures. Photo: dosecreative / iStock

Kayaking Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs – #7

The seven-mile canoe run from Juniper Springs is an extraordinary wilderness adventure. The canopied creek winds through dense, primeval forests that seem untouched by man — on weekdays, anyway. Come early in the morning and you’ll paddle through dappled light that filters through the trees down into crystalline water.For the best experience, avoid the place on weekends and holidays. As many as 50 or 60 canoes and kayaks may crowd the creek during peak days, but during the week you may only have to share the run with the local wildlife. More information on Florida Traveler. Photo: Michael Warren

Kayaking Crystal River

Crystal River – #6

Formed by 30 springs, most of them at Kings Bay, Crystal River is a world-famous haven for manatees who spend the winter in the warm spring water. The area has a ton of kayaking opportunities in addition to the trip to Three Sisters (#4 on our list). For a list of launch and tour options, check out this article on Paddle Florida. Photo: Michael Warren / iStock

Chassahowitzka Kayaking

Chassahowitzka River – #5

Just south of Homossassa Springs, the Chassahowitzka River winds its way for about 4 miles to the Gulf of Mexico through a 31,000-acre wildlife refuge created to protect migrating birds. Upstream from the main launch area, a series of small underwater caves provides outstanding snorkeling opportunities. Contact Kayak Karavan for kayak rentals and guide information. Read more about kayaking the Chassahowitzka. Photo: Michael Warren

Kayaking Three Sisters

Three Sisters – #4

A narrow, canopied inlet in on the east side of Kings Bay opens up to one of Florida’s most astonishing sites. Three Sisters Springs is the winter home to hundreds of manatees, who come for the warmth of the 72 degree water. The spring boils are always off-limits to boaters, and the surrounding water’s edge is undeveloped. To protect the manatees that rest here in winter, the location has periodic closures. Check the website for details. Photo: Michael Warren / iStock

Kayaking Rainbow River

Rainbow River – #3

Fed by one of the world’s largest springs, the Rainbow River attracts kayakers from around the world to its gin-clear water that teams with birds, fish and natural beauty. Underwater visibility can extend more than 100 feet in the right conditions, making it hugely popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. The 6-mile river in Dunnellon, Florida is an easy paddle in a current that runs about a mile an hour. The bottom averages 3 to 6 feet but on the way you’ll pass caves and boils that are 30 feet deep or more. Check out Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak for rentals and tell them Florida Kayaker sent you! Read more about Kayaking Rainbow River. Photo: Michael Warren

Silver River Florida Kayaking

Silver River – #2

In a state full of beautiful kayaking trails, the Silver River consistently ranks near the top. This scenic 8-mile river flows between Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River on the western edge of the Ocala National Forest. It combines some of Florida’s finest natural beauty along with a trip back into some of the region’s colorful history. When the historic tourist attraction became a state park in 2013, the spring head was opened for kayaking for the first time in decades. Click for kayaking Silver River. Photo: Michael Warren / iStock

Kayaking Weeki WacheeEven in the heat of summer, the Weeki Wachee River is cool and refreshing. The water flows from the spring at a constant temperature year round (typically between 72 and 74 degrees) which makes it perfect for cooling off. And with an average depth of 1 to 4 feet, much of the river is suitable for wading.

Weeki Wachee River – #1

The Nature Coast town of Weeki Wachee has only 12 residents according to census data. But it’s ranked the Number One kayaking destination by readers of Florida Kayaker. Most famous for its first-magnitude spring and Old Florida tourist attraction (complete with performing mermaids) the 7.4 mile Weeki Wachee River flows west to the Gulf of Mexico. Winding under a canopy of cypress, oak and palm trees, the crystal clear water offers outstanding wildlife viewing. Check with Paddling Adventures for canoe and kayak rentals in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Clic for more on kayaking Weeki Wachee. Photo: Domromer / Fotolia


Truly a paddler's paradise, Florida has diverse ecosystems and pristine waters that nature lovers can really appreciate. You can spot abundant wildlife in the lush landscapes as you float through miles of pristine beauty in one of Florida's most picturesque places to go kayaking.