Kayaking Florida’s Greatest Rivers, Swamps and Springs
Explore the beautiful waters of north-central Florida and southern Georgia. Camp out in the woods near the historic Suwannee River and spend your days paddling, swimming and exploring. See vestiges of Civil War history and abundant wildlife to include alligators, manatees, turtles and raptors.
Come explore the beautiful rivers, swamps and springs of North Central Florida and Southern Georgia! Our campsite near the historic Suwannee River will serve as our base camp for the week. Each day we will pack our lunch and gear for the day, drive to various nearby rivers and springs (Suwannee, Ichetucknee, Withlacoochie, Wacissa, Sante Fe, and Okefenokee Swamp to name a few) for a full day of paddling, swimming and exploring. Weather permitting, will also head to Florida's Atlantic coast for a day on the beach. Each night, we will return to our campsite, tucked into the woods near Suwannee River State Park. Vestiges of history in surrounding areas show how important the region was to Florida history. Long mounds of earthworks, built during the Civil War to guard against incursions by Union Navy gunboats, line the Suwannee river. Other remnants from the past include one of the State’s oldest cemeteries, a paddle-wheel shaft from a 19th century steamboat, and numerous Civil War era bridges. When not on the water, we will have ample time to explore these sites as well as the several trails that loop through woodlands surrounding our campsite. This trip is a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the rich ecological diversity and historical significance of this region, while at the same time enjoying a wilderness camping experience. We expect to see abundant wildlife (alligators, turtles, manatees, fish, river otters Pileated woodpeckers and numerous raptors), and we will take plenty of time while paddling to explore, swim and snorkel. Meetings with local guides and historians, dining out in small local eateries and speaking to local residents enhance this experience in “Old Florida.”