(386) 454-0611 riverguide2000@yahoo.com

Lower Suwannee River NWR Paddle Trail

Lower Suwannee River NWR Paddle Trail  “Chapman’s Lost World of the Ivory-Bill” Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time: 3 – 4 hours Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike The meeting site is in the Town of Suwannee, about 1.5 hours W of Gainesville.      Description This tour follows a network of beautiful back creeks and side channels along the lower Suwannee River. Our entire trip is within the bounds of the 53,000 acre Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Here, low tidal creeks and coastal swamps are home to a fantastic array of bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species. While the main channel of this last leg of the Suwannee is relatively wide (averaging 600 – 800 feet across), the backwaters we follow on this trip rarely span more than 100 feet and are partially shaded near the edges by overhanging bald cypress, water elm, tupelo, ash, maple and oaks. The shrub layer is dominated by swamp dogwoods, Walter viburnum, buttonbush and climbing asters.This tour is part of our “Wild Florida Chronicles” series, in which we follow the routes of some famous explorations. On this segment of the series, we follow the Chapman/Brewster expedition of 1890. While this team of famous naturalists only spent a couple of weeks exploring this area, their combined knowledge, along with with detailed notes and journal entries, left us a great snap-shot of life along the lower Suwannee in the late 19th century. Most of the species they described are still here, including great blue, tri-colored. little blue herons, great and snowy egrets, prothonotary and parula warblers, swallow-tailed kites (in...

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island Kayak tours Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip length: 6 – 8 hours Skill level: Moderate (physical ability, endurance and determination are needed) Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description Above all else, its the wonderful sense of mystery that captures your senses as you first stroll onto the brilliant, sugar- sand beaches of Cumberland Island. It hangs thick in the air, overpowering all else like the heavy fragrance of an orange tree in full bloom. Defining the extreme south eastern corner of Georgia, this seventeen mile barrier island is a nature lovers dream. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this beautiful island is that it remains in a primarily natural state. This, in spite of the fact that people have had their eye on settling here from the earliest days of exploration and settlement. Starting with the earliest days of colonization, when three different Christian missions were...

Wakulla River

Wakulla River Kayak and Canoe Tour   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3 – 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner (in good physical condition) – Expert   Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark.     Description   We’re usually on the water about 3.5 – 4 hours. With a flow rate that varies from 300,000 to nearly a billion gallons per day, Wakulla ranks as one of the largest (and perhaps most variable) springs in the world (rivaling Silver Springs, where the maximum flow has never been as great as Wakulla’s maximum, but the daily average is greater). With its rich, colorful history, especially at the old fort ruins where our trip ends, Wakulla ranks as one of the all-stars of Florida’s spring rivers.   Come here during warm months from April through November and you might spot some manatees. In the past, they all moved southeastward in the fall to spend winter in...

Waccasassa River

WACCASASSA/WEKIVA RIVER KAYAK AND CANOE TOUR Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Trip description   On this trip we’ll be exploring a couple of the finest waterways on the Gulf coast, the Waccasassa and Wekiva Rivers. At first glance, there’s nothing to tell the casual paddler that Waccasassa River is born of the beautiful Levy Blue spring near Bronson. The tannin stained water speaks more of the Devil’s Hammock swamp, through which it passes, than the artesian fountain at its head. Blue Spring is a popular watering hole that draws scores of locals on warm summer weekends. The Wekiva, too, is spring-fed. Like it’s sister river, the refreshing waters at it’s source can be enjoyed for a price, but not for recreation – for consumption. A Japanese, bottled-water company bought the spring about 20 years ago and...

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,...