Following the Bayport-Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail through mazes of needlerush along Florida’s Adventure Coast, you’re immersed in the sights and sounds of a coastal estuary.
Location: Bayport and Hernando Beach
Length: 1.7 miles linear
Open: Sunrise to sunset
Land Manager: Hernando County Waterways Department
Restrooms are available at both ends of the paddle. The trail is fully signposted along the route.
Going for a morning paddle, we launched at Bayport Park at the end of Cortez Blvd, west of Weeki Wachee. Our pick-up point for the paddle was Linda Pedersen Park in Hernando Beach. Jenkins Creek Park can also be used for access to the paddling trail at the Hernando Beach end.
This signposted paddling trail through the vast estuary between Bayport and Linda Pedersen Park in Hernando Beach zigzags between islands of needlegrass and deep muddy cuts.
This is where the Mud River and Weeki Wachee River meet. Both spring-fed rivers, along with spring-fed Jenkins Creek, contribute to surprisingly clear waters in the marsh when the tide is going out.
While it’s less than two miles between launch and landing, it’s a surprisingly challenging paddling trip, with absolutely nowhere to disembark in-between. Plan the direction of your trip in accordance with the tide.
An additional loop, the Redfish Bayou Loop, is signposted off the main paddling trail. It adds 1.4 miles to the journey for a 4.8-mile round-trip or a 3.1-mile linear trip if you’ve arranged a shuttle.
Our paddling trip was arranged by Kayaks and Attractions. They dropped us off at Bayport Park and led us on a guided journey up through the estuary to Linda Pedersen Park. While they primarily provide rentals and shuttles, they do offer guided tours on request. Give them a call to discuss: 352-796-2289.