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More Information about Paddling in Florida

Tips for safe paddling

  • This is Florida, so be sure to bring food and water, suntan lotion, a wide brimmed hat and insect repellant.
  • Respect the weather. Be aware of tides, water levels and currents.
  • Carry a waterproof marine chart as the paper ones can fall apart.
  • Don't paddle alone.
  • Some areas are remote and you will not be able to get cell phone reception; it's best to alert a friend or relative to your plans so if you don't return the authorities can be notified.
  • Do not overload your vessel and tie down gear. Bring a dry bag for items you don't want to get wet.
  • Watch out for motor boats and fishermen.
  • Separate fishing licenses required for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

State Regulations

  • Florida law requires a personal flotation device be available for each person on board (children under 6 must wear them). A sound device (such as a plastic whistle) is also required.
  • Between sunset and sunrise, a white light must be available for use to avoid collisions.
  • If powered (electric or gas) vessel registration rules apply.   
  • Collecting plants and animals, and feeding wildlife are illegal in The Everglades.

About Florida Weather

  • Weather varies among the geographic regions, but a constant is the generally regular afternoon thunderstorms during the summer. Winters are generally the dry season.
    • The Florida Panhandle has four seasons, and winters can be cold with occasional subfreezing temperatures.
    • Central and North Florida is more warm and dry than the Panhandle. Spring and autumn with their moderate temperatures are the most pleasant seasons for paddling. 
    • South Florida and the Florida Keys are subtropical to tropical and the seasons can be described as wet and dry. Winter is generally dry and usually warm. Consequently, snowbirds during the winter season can create crowded conditions in the parks and on the trails.
  • Hurricane season is June through October, fallen trees can block waterways, landings can be damaged.

Be considerate of the environment.
Bring reusable containers and pick up all garbage.

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Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe


Florida Paddling Links

Florida's Designated Paddling Trails
Trails-at-a-Glance (maps and descriptions)

Florida Paddling Trails (.pdf)
A guide to Florida’s top canoeing & kayaking trails

Other Recreation Links
Things to do in Florida's outdoors

Fun in the Suncoast
West Florida's resource
for sun and fun