Want to go see some HUGE prehistoric dinosours - the Florida Gator! Kayak in the mangrove maze looking for the giant White Pelicans? Maybe you would like to go find the rare Florida Manatee . Trap Blue crabs - Go swim in the natural Florida Spring, collect seashells and other beach finds on the spoil islands where the best beach treasures are found. Do you enjoy looking at all the beautiful Florida birds and taking pictures? Did you hear about those Gatorfrogs? Dolphins - sure ... Want to go snorkeling? Have I got a place for you kids! Rainbow Spring!
Kayak with the Manatees!
Kayak with the Manatees SEASONAL Dec 15th - April 15th.
Local trips - observation only. Citrus County is the only place in Florida that Manatee Interaction is legal. When going with me your odds of finding a manatee are really good. But no way can I guarantee rare wild manatees will be found in my "spots"
A portion of your trip charge will go to Clearwater Marine Aquariums new Manatee Rescue project. You may also choose to donate directly to CMA up to $250. Then I will deduct your donation amount from your trip cost.
Ask about a bonus free side trip to
Available on Frog Creek - Terra Ceia Preserve, Little Manatee River - and trips over the Sunshine Skyway.
Peace River Dinosour Fossil Hunting trip. The Peace River where we go is 1.5 hours drive. So full day only ... Mom is going to pack a picnic or we can stop at Publix to pick up subs and Jello Pudding. I always supply cold drinks. We launch at my secret spot and then travel by kayak to where prehistoric dinosaurs bones have been found - yet some are sure to remain. Often Megladon and other shark teeth have been found here.
Fossils & Shark Teeth Hunt on Peace River
Joogsquad friends Jack & Merrick know where to go. Do you not think "for the kids" I don't know? Never any guarantees kids - but we usually get lucky. No - I am not going to betray my buddies trust and disclose a few different locations good to look where we will be kayaking and sifting sand along the way looking for shark teeth! Here is some info on the
Ask KC About my Summer Skidboarding Camp for kids !
Islands of Adventure
Just look at this list:
Decisions Decisions Decisions...
After kayaking to our destination of a targeted island we will spend some time beach combing for shells and other treasures. Maybe have a picnic lunch on the beach. Its your vacation - your day - you tell me what you would like. Sure kids, you can snorkel too.
Yep! Frog Creek is where those Gator Frogs escaped. Located just over the Sunshine Skyway - getting there is only 1/2 the fun. This brings us to Manatee county. Why do you think it is called Manatee County? The TECO Power plant Manatee Viewing Center is 15 minutes away. Rather then me tell you about Frog Creek here is Bonnies article & opinion.
Frog Creek flows into the Terra Ceia Preserve - a big mangrove maze with mangrove tunnels. The mucky mangrove bottom is the perfect home for Blue Crabs. The kids can learn how to catch one as I will demonstrate using only a piece of string and an old chicken bone.
For the Birds
Our kayak adventure may begin with an urgent trip to the Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores on the way as there is a report of a Night Heron hung up in some fishing line in the mangroves we are headed to. Hopefully, the heron will free itself, but we are going to keep a sharp eye for it. How many other birds will we discover today? Sometimes we do find a injured or sick bird & we will bring it here.
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River. Starting at the 7 Sisters Springs heading down the Chaz are a multitude of side creeks and springs all flowing into the main river before entering the Gulf of Mexico. We could go kayaking everyday here for a month and we still would not see it all. The refuge was established primarily to protect waterfowl habitat and is home to over 250 species of birds, over 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 25 different species of mammals, including the endangered Manatee. There are no Kayak Trail Markers here and very easy to get lost. I have been here not less then 300X in my life - All over. The ONLY person I trust to take you other then myself is Captain Jodi of Nature Coast Eco Tours. Please do not think you can do this trip without a guide.
Yes you still get complimentry pick up at your hotel or vacation rental. This way you don't have to pay $20.00 to park or try and find the launch. Departing Clearwater Beach - we cross the Mandalay Channel and cut thru the million dollar homes on Island Estates. Soon we leave the seawalls and get into the mangroves. Our destination is the most beautiful beach you ever seen. It sits where Big Pass or Dunedin Pass used to be, between Clearwater Beach & Caladesi Island. Here we usually take a swim and do some beachcombing before heading back directly down the Mandalay channel. 4.3 miles round trip - a good work out.
From Clearwater Beach - my most popular trip. !/2 and full day available. The full day is best as it affords time to explore a spoil island - enter the mangrove tunnels and take a little hike break from the kayaks on Caladesi island & explore the Scharrer Family ruins,
Next we go up a shallow bay into a small lagoon where we park the kayaks on a bay side beach. 20 steps away is the most beautiful stretch of beach you ever seen. You will want some beach time here for a picnic , shelling and splashing in the surf - all without the crowds.
Myakka River ~ Deep Hole
Place of The Sleeping Turtles
You may not believe me, So I will Let Sarah Tell you about it. Not for Children or the faint of heart. Magnificent Wild & Scenic River.
Shhhh. The turtles are Sleeping. We just don't talk here. I know where it is and where we are going. On the Wild & Scenic Myakka River. A more kid friendly trip. Ask about Snook Haven or see Great Restaurants Page.
Aripeka poulation 320 is a place you may never find if you didn't know it existed. About an hours drive north of Clearwater Beach. Lost on an Old Florida back road on Floridas Nature Coast. Here we launch from Norfleets - there are 3 springs we can reach by kayak - but I am not telling everyone here how to find them. Yes! lots of Blue Crabs for the kids to learn to catch here. If weather permits we can also venture out into the Gulf and explore the marshy islands. Home of Aripeka Stone Crab Co. where I heard a rumor about a Mermaid. There is also a super nice vacation rental here.
Click on the photo below to take a tour.
Aripeka Island Plantation
Available for your whole family.
Shell Key Preserve
While mostly a shallow water paddle to the island this trip is great for young children learning to kayak. If they fall in - no worries Mom. They can stand up and get right back in the kayak.
This is a very popular kayak spot as it is served by not less then 10 different kayak outfitters. This is where all the tourists in St. Petersburg -St. Pete Beach get sent to go kayaking. Sure, I go there. It is a 40 minute drive down the barrier islands at 35MPH from Clearwater Beach.
More info on Shell Key Here.
Rainbow Springs Snorkeling & Kayaking.
Once upon a time, before Disney, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Rainbow Springs was one of Florida's Original Theme Parks Attractions. It is the only place in Florida with waterfalls! ( Man made) Now a State Park. This is where the fun starts, at the State Park! Here we dip in the spring & be sure to bring your snorkel gear kids. The water is very clear so you can get a good view of the blue gills, sunfish; bass and other fish. Next we head to K.P. Hole a few minutes away to launch the kayaks into the Rainbow River! We go all the way down it till it intersects with the Withlacoochee River. Here we pull out at Anglers Resort. You might be hungry The Blue Gator Restaurant here has pretty good grub.
Now listen kids - be sure you understand it is a 2 hour drive up and 2 hours drive back. 4 hours driving, plus an hour at the spring and 3 hours kayaking, an hour for lunch - it is a very full 8 -9 hour day.
More to come...
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