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Trip report: Dec. 2012

Lower Peace River Paddling Trail... Gardner to Arcadia

We paddled the lower river at Gardner and Brownville. Here the river is wider, with more straightaways than the upper river, good for kayak or canoe. 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.

paddle Peace River, kayak, canoe

Location - Lower: Gardner to Arcadia
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points - Lower: Gardner boat ramp, Brownville Park (Arcadia), DeSoto County Park (See map)

Continue to Lower Peace River below, or go to Overview page for more Peace River

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Canoe Outpost - Peace River  (rentals)


Gardner Boat Ramp

We paddled upstream about 3 miles. Water levels were low and the shoreline provided many spots to pull off to rest and picnic.

Along the River

Flora and Fauna


Brownville Park Boat Ramp

We paddled upstream about 3 miles from Brownville Park toward Gardner. Downstream, the river widened with many straightaways. A motorboat was launching to go downstream, upstream was too shallow for motors.

Brownville Park

On the River


Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia, county seat of DeSoto County, has a quaint historic district dating from the 1880's.


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.

South launches

Charlotte Harbor, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda

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