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Updated: 12/10/2012

Lower Peace River Paddling Trail... Gardner to Arcadia

We paddled the lower river at Gardner and Brownville. Here the river was wider with more straight-aways than the upper river. We continued to see many birds. The limestone formations were of interest; water levels were low and we ran into several mini-rapids. Panning for shark teeth is popular in this section. While the river flows past pastureland (cattle are occasionally seen), the shoreline is frequently lined with cypress, pine, oak and willow; the sloping riverbanks provided many spots to pull off to stretch and picnic.

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Lower Peace River Paddling Trail
(hover over photo for larger view)
Gardner Boat Ramp
Gardner, FL
We paddled upstream about 3 miles. Water levels were low and the shoreline provided many spots to pull off to rest and picnic.
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Launch at Gardner Boat Ramp Limestone formation Heron
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  This hawk was washing off Palm strand Cypress
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Picnic spot Cattle by the river Wild turkeys Back at the launch
Brownville Park Boat Ramp
Brownville, FL
We paddled upstream about 3 miles from Brownville Park toward Gardner. Downstream, the river widened with many straight-aways. A motorboat was launching to go downstream, upstream was too shallow for motors.
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Brownville Park Boat ramp/launch at Brownville Park Stream feeding the river near the boat ramp
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Panning for shark teeth Bridge at Brownville St. Turtle Exposed rocks created a mini-rapids
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Heron The white spot on the shore is an egret Sand bars for stretching or
picnicking
When windy, the wide river was choppy
Arcadia, Florida
Arcadia, county seat of DeSoto County, has a quaint historic district dating from the 1880's.
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Old main street Opera House is now a museum Built in 1927 as an arcade, early indoor mall Casa Italia is inside the arcade building One of many restored old homes in Arcadia
Charlotte Harbor, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda
South of Arcadia and off the designated paddling trail, the Peace River flows into Charlotte Harbor at Port Charlotte and then into the Gulf of Mexico. Launches south of Arcadia are at Nocatee (CR 760) and at the Nav-a-Gator Grill (Old DeSoto Marina). The river is wider and deeper, popular with fishermen and with many motorboats.
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Boat ramp at Nocatee (CR 760) Peace River at  Nocatee Boat Ramp at Nav-a-Gator (end of Peace River St.) Canal to the river from the marina Rental canoes and kayaks
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Charlotte Harbor - mouth of the Peace River Port Charlotte beach Punta Gorda park and bike trail along Charlotte Harbor Punta Gorda marina Boat ramp at City Beach Park; canal leads to Charlotte Harbor or into Punta Gorda's extensive network of canals

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Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
Upper Peace River Paddling Trail

Canoe/Kayak Outfitters/Rentals

Canoe Outpost-
Peace River

Canoe Safari

Nav-A-Gator Grill
and Marina


Arcadia, Florida, weather forecast