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Florida suggestions anyone???

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:17 pm
by MDO
We are off (long drive!) to Florida to camp and paddle around Christmas. Some of our potential destinations include the Everglades, Wekiwa Springs SP, Manatee Springs, Anastasia SP, Ocklokonee SP, and a stop in Stephen C Foster Georgia to see the Okeefenokee Swamp.

any tips anyone?

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:39 pm
by dspid2404
Though I go to Florida often, and will be going this Christmas as well, I haven't been in the area's you have mentioned. Much of the paddling I have done in my Expedition have been in the Keys (mile marker 80 and down) and the Indian River near Melbourne (lots of dolphins and a few manatee). I am interested in finding new areas so please follow up this post to let me know how you liked these areas. Thanks in advance.

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:51 pm
by dspid2404
MDO,
I'm wondering if any of your Florida destinations during the holidays are worth checking out. I go to Florida quite a bit. Any suggestions from your experience this holiday season?

Florida paddle

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:47 am
by MDO
I did mean to post something upon our return.... then I forgot!
My husband and daughter, who were in Florida for 10 days ahead of my son and I, paddled both at Collier Seminole SP in a mangrove, and saw tons of wildlife. They also paddled at Flamingo Bay in the Everglades, but cut their stay short in the park because of mosquitoes.

Because of car trouble, we had to skip Anastasia, and ended up staying at Manatee Springs 4 nights instead of 2, and actually the spring was closed to any kind of boat because of the manatees (which were AWESOME!). Ocklockonee SP is on a gorgeous and large river, but we actually ended up doing day-trips in that area and since it was dark at 5, we did not get to paddle from our campsite which we could have otherwise quite nicely done.

The BEST paddling was Wekiwa Springs SP, near Orlando, where we could paddle down the meandering shallow river for about 5 hours, and then a guy in a minibus picked us up and brought us back to our van. This was absolutely great, and the inflatable kayaks made the transport extra easy (initially the guy was not running the shuttle (low season), but when we said we would rent one of his canoes, and when he saw our inflatables, he said ok!

We also were in the Okeefenokee swamp, it was AWESOME, but really really cold.

Now back in frigid Canada... with dreams of spring at Point Pelle NAtional Park!

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:47 am
by dspid2404
MDO,
Thank you for the follow up. I will definitely check out the Wekiwa Springs State Park. Even though it was a bit chilly I did manage to get out on the Indian River near Melbourne. I used the skirt for the first time on my Expedition. It was nice and toasty inside. Very comfortable. I tried a new spot that wasn't too exciting. I went back to my usual spot and there were more dolphins out than usual. Unfortunately the winds prevented too long of a paddle. I was exhausted after 3o minutes pushing against the wind all the time. I got a little more time near Saint Augustine. If anyone knows a better spot to launch from than near the lighthouse let me know. Something closer to the historic district would be nice.