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Paddling in East-Central Florida...

Kayak, Canoe, 21 Top Destinations... Detailed Maps, Photos

With some of the best kayaking anywhere, Central Florida is a mecca for eco-tourism, providing a natural alternative to the theme parks. East along the Atlantic, the Space Coast is defined by the Indian River Lagoon and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Moving inland, freshwater springs and creeks offer a wild Florida experience by kayak, canoe, or board. Here, the vegetation begins to change and a semi-tropical feel emerges. All paddling spots are unique in their own way. Some lakes are ideal for paddleboarders. Select a destination for all details.

Regional Map, East-Central FL
(individual paddling maps via links below)

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East-Central Florida... 21 Destination Reports

Alexander Springs Run Alexander Spring Run... Kayaking on wide, shallow water in the Ocala National Forest. No regular shuttle service, so it's usually paddled as an out and back. Rentals available (view details...)

Arbuckle Creek Arbuckle Creek... Proximity to the Avon Park bombing range is actually a positive that helps keep this area natural. The most scenic is the first few miles nearest Lake Arbuckle Tours available (view details...)

Blackwater Creek Black Water Creek Overview... One of the more natural and remote areas in Central Florida. The Creek is impassable between the launches described in our two destination reports. Each offers it own unique experience. Rentals; we saw canoes stored at Lake Norris, call ahead (view details...)

Blackwater Creek Black Water Creek, Lake Norris... Remote preserve not far from Orlando. A short paddle to Lake Norris and enjoy the cypress shoreline. A few homes on lake, but no public access other than hand-carry launch. Rentals, we saw some canoes stored, call ahead (view details...)

Blackwater Creek Black Water Creek, Seminole State Forest... Scenic and secluded Central Florida creek. Feeds into the Wekiva River. Forest entry permit required (view details...)

Blue Spring Blue Spring, St Johns River... A designated manatee refuge. No-Wake Zone along the St. Johns River good for paddlers. Spring Run closed in winter months. Rentals available (view details...)

Callalisa Creek Callalisa Creek... Mangrove-lined saltwater creek beside the Indian River in New Smyrna Beach FL. (view details...)

Canaveral National Seashore Canaveral National Seashore... At upper Mosquito Lagoon. Numerous birds and dolphin. Rentals available. (view details...)

Cocoa Beach 1000 Islands Cocoa Beach 1000 Islands... Paddling through mangrove tunnels in Central Florida. Tours available (view details...)

DeLeon Springs DeLeon Springs State Park... From historic DeLeon Springs onto wide water of the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. Rentals available (view details...)

Dora Canal Dora Canal... Short but scenic. Have your picture taken as tour boats pass. A couple of side creeks, maybe a gator or two. (view details...)

Econlockhatchee River Econlockhatchee River... One of the last unspoiled rivers in Central Florida. Rentals available (view details...)

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge... Paddling in the upper Indian River lagoon. Popular with bird watchers. Kayaking tours available (view details...)

Rock Springs Run Rock Springs Run... Our personal favorite paddling destination in Central Florida. Rentals available (view details...)

Shingle Creek Shingle Creek... A tranquil paddling getaway in the middle of the Disney World tourist corridor. Rentals available (view details...)

Shipyard  Island Shipyard Island... Immediately after North entrance to Canaveral National Seashore. Rentals available (view details...)

Spruce Creek Spruce Creek... Fresh to saltwater tidal creek between Daytona and New Smyrna Beach. Rentals available (view details...)

St. Sebastian River St. Sebastian River... One of the last natural stretches of river on the east coast of Florida. Rentals available (view details...)

Tomoka River Tomoka River... 13-mile designated paddling trail. Rentals available (view details...)

Turkey Creek, Palm Bay, Melbourne FL Turkey Creek Sanctuary (Palm Bay)... Saltwater to freshwater coastal creek. We hit the trifecta - saw manatee, dolphin, and alligator on one half-day trip. Rentals available (view details...)

Wekiva River; Wekiva River... A designated Wild and Scenic River. Close to Orlando-Sanford metro area, so expects crowds some weekends. Rentals available (view details...)

Winter Park Chain of Lakes Winter Park Chain of Lakes... Urban kayaking in Central Florida, near downtown Orlando. Paddleboards are popular here too (view details...)

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