Kayak Enthusiast? The Best Places to Kayak in Florida

Lakes, rivers, estuaries and bays in Florida provide kayakers with hundreds of miles of scenic paddling.

The best places to kayak offer up-close encounters with birds, fish and other wildlife that populate the waterways of Florida. In fact, you may not see another person while you’re gently paddling through mangrove forests, oak hammocks and tall swamp grass.

Kayakers have an advantage over motorized watercraft because they can listen to and view wildlife without making noise while they’re approaching. Today’s kayaks are well equipped with comfortable seats and plenty of storage, giving kayak enthusiasts the opportunity to paddle in comfort all day.

If you live at Babcock Ranch, visit Curry Creek Outfitters for the latest gear and gadgets that will make your kayak experiences memorable. Last-minute items such as sunscreen and hats are available there before you launch.

Discover Your Own Community 

Many communities in Florida provide access to the water from public launches designed for boaters and kayakers. Sometimes these facilities are within walking distance from your home.

At Babcock Ranch, for example, you can kayak from a launch designed for that purpose at Lake Babcock. In fact, Curry Creek Outfitters has a storage facility at the launch so you don’t have to haul it from home.

Other communities in Southwest Florida that are well-known for kayaking include Pine Island, Sanibel, Matlacha, Estero and Everglades City. There are municipal and privately owned marinas that welcome kayakers.

To find kayak launches near you, consider visiting websites that list popular ones in Southwest Florida. For example, Floridagofishing provides listings of launches with notes on fishing and parking. Florida State Parks also offers information about kayak launches throughout the state’s park system.

Popular Kayak Destinations

Kayak enthusiasts will find the best places to kayak in Florida aren’t too far from home. Many kayak trails are marked and easily navigable.

For example, the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail stretches 190 miles. The marked kayak trail winds through the coastal waters and tributaries of Lee County where you’ll spot birds, dolphins and manatees.

Adventure seekers can make their trips last more than a day. There are places to camp in public parks along the Blueway and paddle-craft friendly lodging. You can learn more about camping on the Blueway here.

The Blueway is divided into three areas. First is the Estero Bay area, second is Pine Island and Matlacha and the third leg takes paddlers inland to the Caloosahatchee River. You can order or download maps of the Blueway by clicking here.

Further south, you can kayak in the Everglades. The Ten Thousand Islands area offers solitude and you can pitch a tent on certain keys.

The northern islands fall within the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, home to one of the largest mangrove forests in North America. The southern islands are part of Everglades National Park.

Visit Florida, the state’s tourism arm, offers useful information for paddlers who want to explore the Ten Thousand Islands.

To learn more about Babcock Ranch, kayaking adventures and Curry Creek Outfitters, you can schedule a tour by calling 877-484-4344.