What Are The Top Places To Kayak In South Florida?
South Florida offers plenty of beautiful waterways. But kayakers would be surprised to see how rare it is to find good places to kayak or canoe. Not all waterways are suitable for this activity, after all. In South Florida waterways, open spaces are rare.
Kayaking is easy in South Florida, actually, because you can always launch your kayak along the beach. The southeast side of Florida, along the Atlantic coast from the Keys through Palm Beach Country, is a bit urban. And that is why finding a good kayaking spot can be tricky.
But the good news is we have your back. Here we are listing down some of the best places to kayak if you ever want to explore the beauty of South Florida. We’ve chosen waterways that have interesting and appealing scenery that you can take in and enjoy—without having to dodge speed boats, that is.
If you’re in Palm Beach County, you may want to consider visiting the Loxahatchee River: easily one of the best kayak trails in South Florida. It’s great because it lets you kayak through one of Florida’s two federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers.
It’s a peaceful environment that’s made even more perfect by the lush ferns and cypress trees growing all around. It’s a highly scenic, three-hour trip that follows a jungle trail along a narrow, twisting river.
It may have a similar name, but the ecosystem here is very different. This trail takes kayakers through wet prairies, sawgrass marshes, and tree islands.
It has a sunny, open environment where you can spot plenty of birds and a few gators here and there.
The John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach is a trail that’s never far from civilization. But it features spectacular scenery that has plenty of bird-life. It’s a sunny trail that has no shade, so you will have to bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated—bring lots of water on your trip.
Kayak around the lagoon or venture into Lake Worth for a more unique adventure.
Peanut Island is also in the MacArthur Park area. Visit a tiki bar at the Riviera Beach Marina and put your kayak in there. Peanut Island has plenty to offer besides kayaking. You can go snorkeling, or have a fun day at one of the beaches.
You can launch your kayak from the Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park’s marina and get to Whiskey Creek—Broward County’s most natural kayak trail. The park was absent for several years, but it is open once again. It even has a concessionaire who rents kayaks as well as stand-up paddleboards by the hour. You can also rent by the day if you are planning to stay for a while.
West Lake Park offers peaceful mangrove areas that are great for paddling. Get in touch with nature as you view lots of bird life soaring through the air. It features the largest remaining mangrove ecosystem in the 85-mile urbanized coast from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach.
Even if you don’t have a kayak, you can rent one here. The park is open from 9am to 5pm, but the last boat goes out at 3:50pm, so be there on time. Current prices are as follows: kayaks cost $14 for one hour, $24 for two hours, and $30 for four hours.
The Middle River is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Fort Lauderdale, famous for its stretches of mangroves and undeveloped land. It does feature rare sightings of herons, manatees, and iguanas, if you are lucky.
To get here, you can launch your kayak at Colohatchee Park, located at 1975 NE 15th Ave.
New River in Fort Lauderdale
If you are looking for a bit of history, Fort Lauderdale’s New River is perfect for you. The most historic river in Fort Lauderdale runs through the heart of the city. The downtown section is popular with yachts and speed boats, so you wouldn’t want to bring your kayak there—it’s not ideal.
But certain areas are better for paddling, such as the canals along Las Olas Boulevard and the Tarpon River near New River, along Rio Vista.
The western portions of the New River are also calmer, so it’s a good choice for kayakers and paddlers.
Want to try out kayaking but don’t want to get away from civilization? There is a good kayak trail in the middle of the city at Oleta River State Park in North Miami. It’s a unique experience that gives you the best of both worlds: an authentic water adventure, without straying too far from the urban life.
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