Paddling, whether solo or tandem, in a canoe or kayak, has become a popular sport nationwide. And there’s not place where it’s more evident than in our Natural North Florida region. We have rivers like the Withlacoochee, Waccasassa, Suwannee, Steinhatchee, Econfina, St. Marks, Wakulla and the Ochlockonee. We have lakes, like Newnans, Rousseau, Orange and Lochloosa. And we have springs, like Fanning, Manatee, Blue, Ginnie, Wacissa and Wakulla. Those are just the “big ones”. We have hundreds of “lesser” bodies of water on which to paddle. And I haven’t even mentioned all the paddlecraft launches along our Gulf of Mexico shoreline!
The advantage of paddling is that it not only keeps you healthy (exercise and fresh air!), but it’s portable. Modern paddlecraft are lightweight and many can be easily slid onto a car’s roof rack by one person. And they’re comfortable. Gone are the days of backaches from paddling just a few miles. In fact there are boats like those from Hobie Cat that allow you to pedal!
Paddling is also something you can do by yourself, or as a member of a planned group. Paddleboat outfitters (who also rent canoes and kayaks) can be found throughout our 10 county region. Here are a few: Santa Fe Canoe Outpost, Adventure Outpost, High Springs, Wilderness Way (Wakulla), TnT Hideaway (St. Marks), St. Marks Outfitters, River Haven Marina (Steinhatchee)