Paddle Florida

PADDLE FLORIDA
Florida Paddling Trails - Kayak, Canoe

PaddleFlorida
paddle Peace River, kayak, canoepaddle Peace River, kayak, canoe

You are here > Home > South Florida > Paddle Peace River
Updated: 12/19/2012

Peace River... Quiet Beauty in Florida's Heartland

The Peace River lives up to its name (called the Rio de la Paz by the Spanish as early as 1544), paddling through the quiet surroundings allows the paddler to leave cares behind and enjoy the serene beauty of this place. The river extends 106 miles from Lake Hancock in the north to Charlotte Harbor in the south with a 67 mile Designated Paddling Trail from Bartow to Arcadia; the Peace River Valley watershed covers 2,300 square miles. (Detailed map, photos and more description below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: 67 mile Designated Paddling Trail; 106 miles total
Location: Desoto, Hardee, Polk Counties
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points: Designated paddling trail: SR 60 bridge (Bartow), Heritage Peace River Landing, US 98 Bridge (Ft. Meade Recreational Park), CR 657 (Mt. Pisgah Road) bridge, SR 664 bridge (Bowling Green), Lower SR 664A bridge (Wauchula), Crews Park boat ramp, CR652 bridge, Pioneer Park boat ramp, Gardner boat ramp, Brownville Park (Arcadia), DeSoto County Park (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Arcadia (links, above right)
Nearby points of interest:  Payne's Creek Historic State Park, Mosaic Peace River Park

Through moss-draped cypress swamp, hardwood forest and hammocks, this blackwater river is a dark tea color. It twists and turns becoming alternatively narrow with a swifter current, then wider with a slower current. Creeks feed the river, but rainfall is the main source of water. When the water is low, some areas present light rapids and other areas are impassable - especially on the upper river.

Many birds, alligators and other wildlife can be seen; at Charlotte Harbor and the lower river manatees are found. A popular fishing river, below Wauchula it is also popular with fossil hunters.

The shoreline offers many beaches for camping or picnicking. Several outfitters offer rentals and shuttles. Note: Much of the land along the river is privately owned, so when camping respect private property and check with the outfitters if in doubt.

Peace River Launches
(hover over photo for larger view)
We divided the paddling trail into Upper, Middle, and Lower. Click on the links below for more information, we'll be adding details as we paddle more of the Peace River.
Peace River Paddling Trail - Upper
Bartow to Fort Meade
SR 60 Bridge
Bartow, FL
Heritage Peace River Landing
CR 640, Homeland, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
Parking only, no facilities. Long drag from parking to launch; low water makes this section impassable. Easy on and off ramp. Parking only, no facilities.
Fort Meade Recreation Area
US 98, Ft. Meade, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
Parking, picnic, fishing, no facilities.
Ramp is easy on an off.
Peace River Paddling Trail - Middle
Bowling Green to Zolfo Springs
Payne's Creek Historic State Park
Bowling Green, FL
Crews Park Launch
Wauchula, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
A gate code is needed to access the road to the kayak/canoe landing. A visitor center in the park has historic displays, restrooms, water. Parking, restrooms, water. The park also has a playground and picnic tables.
Pioneer Park
Zolfo Springs, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
Boat ramp and Peace River at Pioneer Park. The park has a campground, parking, restrooms, picnic facilities, play area and walking trails. The Cracker Trail Museum and Pioneer Village have historical artifacts and Pioneer Park Days are held in late February/early March -- an annual event for over 40 years.
Peace River Paddling Trail - Lower
Gardner to Arcadia
Gardner Boat Ramp
Gardner, FL
Brownville Park
Brownville, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
Parking only, no facilities. Wide sandy beach in this area for picnicking, camping. Boat launch at Brownville Park. Also available are parking, restrooms, a nature trail, and camping.
DeSoto County Park
Arcadia, FL
Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe Peace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoePeace River-paddle florida, kayak, canoe
Parking, restrooms, water.
The pretty park with walking/jogging trail, fishing,
and picnic tables is a nice feature.
 

More information on paddling at Peace River (opens in a new window):

- Florida Department of Greenways and Trails - Peace River Paddling Trail (.pdf)
- SW Florida Water Management District - Peace River Canoe Trail

Top of Page

Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
Peace River

Canoe/Kayak Outfitters/Rentals

Canoe Outpost-
Peace River

Canoe Safari


Bartow, Florida, weather forecast