You hear them well before you can see them: a burble of water that rises to a roar as you approach the Big Shoals of the Suwannee River, Florida’s largest series of rapids complete with hydraulics and holes and Class III whitewater at certain times of year.
Paddling in Florida
Places to paddle in Florida, including rivers and streams, spring runs, freshwater lakes, coastal lakes and lagoons, and coastal paddling trails.
For a taste of tidal pools and black rock beaches in Florida, get out of your car and walk down to the unique shoreline of Big Talbot Island State Park.
Biscayne Bay is a shallow estuary bounded by barrier islands and coral reefs, stretching from the Oleta River to the top of the Florida Keys, more than 63,000 acres of placid salt water.
Biscayne National Park protects the mangrove coastline of south Miami-Dade County along with living coral reefs and a handful of barrier islands that barely managed to escape development.
With sandy beaches tempting on every curve of the river and trails for paddlers and hikers to enjoy, Blackwater River State Park is the gateway to thousands of acres of public lands stretching northward to the Alabama border.
Blue Spring State Park is well acclaimed for being the best place in Florida to see manatees in the wild, and we don’t mean a dozen or two. Upwards of 200 crowd spring run each winter.
With a developed swimming area surrounding a first-magnitude spring, Blue Springs Recreation Area is a liquid playground in hues of blue, a broad open basin pouring forth a spring run with a dozen more major springs along its length.
It’s the trees that catch your attention at Bulow Creek, from the canopied road leading to the park to the imposing Fairchild Oak standing guard over the main entrance to the ancient Bulow Hammock itself, which the park’s network of trails winds through.
Burned to the ground by a Seminole war party in 1836, the Bulow Plantation fell into ruins, and the remaining towering ruins of a sugar mill are the focus of Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park.
A windswept sentinel off the coast of Dunedin at the edge of Clearwater Harbor, Caladesi Island enthralls visitors with its remoteness, its quiet beaches, its extensive forests and mangrove swamps.