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Tomoka River

 TOMOKA RIVER KAYAK (& CANOE) TOUR Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert The meeting place is about 2 hours from Gainesville. This is a round-trip paddle, ending at the same spot from which we launch. We’re usually on the water for about 3.5 – 4 hours.     Trip description   On this trip we will be exploring the salt marshes on the lower part of the Tomoka river, near Ormond Beach on the east coast.   This tributary of the Halifax River (actually a lagoon) is typical for and Atlantic coastal river in that it’s fairly short – only about 10 miles. The section we’ll be paddling on this days trip is the open salt marshes in the last few miles, where the river joins the Halifax.   About 8 miles upstream from the area we will be paddling, the Tomoka river starts as a small, swampy backwater. From there, it experiences an impressive transformation. Leaving the swamp, it eases it’s way quietly through a densely shaded stand of cypress. After a couple of miles, it begins to open up. Passing under hwy 40, the river continues to widen while the ever increasing wash of sunlight spawns a change in the riverside vegetation. Thick groves of palm trees make a very interesting setting, forming thick mats of fallen fronds and leaf boots where reptiles and other interesting inhabitants live the good life.   By the time the stream enters the coastal lagoon known as Halifax River, it is a wide, tidal estuary dominated by saw grass marsh. Egrets, herons and cormorants are everywhere. Osprey are common too,...