Central Florida is best known for its crystal clear springs, which offer an uninterrupted supply of fresh water at 72 degrees to feed the numerous streams and lakes within the region. This porous limestone which covers the vast landmass of Florida is surrounded by water in all ways, each offering different paddling experiences for the daring kayaker.
There are many other activities to be found in the area, too. You can go in almost every direction, and you’ll be able to find an ocean-side beach in mere hours of driving. The east is where the protected waters of the Atlantic barrier islands that surround the beach offer the opportunity to fish in saltwater and also chances to view wildlife.
Are you excited by the idea of taking your kids kayaking? If yes, then be part of the group! Kayaking with children is an enjoyable and easy method of getting them moving and outside while developing new techniques. When you’re ready to move on to the next level and you’re not sure where to go, how do you determine which place to go? The good news is that the Orlando region is one of the most beautiful spots to kayak with your kids!
If you’re looking to load your kayaks (or hire one or two! ) Check out this list of options for family-friendly kayaking adventure can be extremely helpful when planning your trip. All you have to do is select a date to take a trip to the lake!
Table of Contents
12 Best Places To Kayaking Orlando For Kids And Adults
Merritt Island Refuge Bioluminescence
Kayaking won’t be like it was before you’ve experienced the nighttime kayaking experience under the stars. Even the tiniest of disturbances within the water can trigger bioluminescence that makes the waters around you glow with a blue glow. You can stir the water on your own, watching the light of a dolphin or fish glancing up the water as they swim is a truly amazing experience. To add more excitement the floating mullet fish gather in specific areas. They may be able to jump into the kayak to ride.
It’s a relaxing excursion guided by a guide and you’ll be able to explore at your own speed. While you’re not looking at the bioluminescent creatures, also known as dinoflagellates the current while gazing towards your night skies. One of my favorite kayaking tour operators for this can be the A Day Away Kayak Tours.
The drive time from Orlando to Merritt Island refuge is around one half an hour, from Orlando. Start early so that you have an extra hour to find the launch site. Information will be within your email confirmation. Although bioluminescent tours are available all year round, the period between June and early October is the ideal time to go.
Shingle Creek is a 23-mile creek that starts at South Orlando and flows south into Lake Toho (Tohopekaliga) and is one of the main waterways that comprise the Everglades. It’s a fantastic location if you’re seeking the opportunity to explore the wilderness and wildlife without getting too far from the city.
The best place to access the water is Steffee Landing at Shingle Creek Regional Park. There are restrooms, parking, as well as a paddling center, which rents kayaks.
There’s another launch location located at Babb Landing, which is located in The Pioneer Village, just a short drive to the north to Steffee Landing. It is called the Pioneer Village. Pioneer Village has parking, restrooms, and a variety of old structures.
There are areas in Shingle Creek that are not accessible, but there’s a two-mile paddling trail, which allows you to witness a wide variety of wildlife, including a variety of alligators as well as birds.
The calm waters make Lake Louisa a perfect choice to kayak with your children. The town around is home to some fantastic eateries and shopping opportunities that are fun in addition. You can easily turn this into an enjoyable family trip packed with fun and fun!
Although it’s only a short distance from the Orlando region, it’s well worth having such an enjoyable and memorable time with your loved ones.
Indian River Lagoon
It is located in the Indian River Lagoon is located on the east coast of Central Florida and is just an hour’s drive away from Orlando. The lagoon on the coast can be a very popular spot to fish from kayaks as well as a night kayaking adventure to witness the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence.
There are a variety of places where to start your kayak, including locations that allow you to take a detour from the main road and park your kayak before launching. There’s a launch location located at Sand Point Park in Titusville as well as another site just across the bridge in Parrish Park located in Titusville.
It is possible to paddle across the vast Indian River Lagoon and Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge located near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This is a sanctuary for many species of local wildlife, including manatees. Mangroves are plentiful in Merritt Island, so you might want to take the GPS or compass, as it is difficult to get lost.
Two streams in Florida are classified to be the National Scenic River and Wild rivers, and the Wekiva is one of them. If you mix it with Rock Springs Run, you get The Wekiva Paddle Trail.
The whole Wekiva Paddling Trail is over 25 miles in length. There are numerous places to put in along the trail which include Wekiva Springs State Park as well as Wekiva Island.
Mosquito and Indian River Lagoons
If you take a look at an outline of central Florida it is obvious that the best place to kayak is the ocean. Florida is a very small peninsula that is just a half-hour drive from along the Atlantic coast. To the east of the city, the shallow lagoon that is protected by barrier islands offers a wealth of areas that can be explored via kayak.
In close proximity to the city of Titusville, there is a launch point to access and paddle the expansive and awe-inspiring Indian River Lagoon. Close to New Smyrna Beach, you are able to visit the equally fascinating Mosquito Lagoon a little farther north. Dividing the two is the Kennedy Space Center, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore.
Lake County Blueways
Lake County is just north of Orlando along the Florida Turnpike near the town of Apopka. It was not surprisingly named for the numerous lakes that lie within its boundaries. A number of Blueways and paddling trails are being constructed connecting all of the major lakes of the county.
The entire region around Apopka as well as Leesburg is a great destination for those who paddle. The lakes are linked and enjoyable to explore and there are numerous ramps and access points in the various theme parks along the shores. Paddling here is diverse and covers all kinds of water, from winding springs to creeks to vast lakes that can create some chops when it’s windy.
You can hire kayaks and paddleboards from Adventure Outdoor Paddle in Tavares.
If you’d prefer to remain near home, take the trip of just 25 minutes towards Wekiwa Springs State Park for an afternoon of paddling the river, and then cool off at the cool spring.
While you walk through your journey along the Wekiva River, keep your eyes open for alligators basking themselves along the riverbank. In certain seasons in the summer, it is possible to hear them even if they aren’t visible. There are also the birds of Florida’s native habitat or turtles, and perhaps even Otters.
Rentals of tandem kayaks and single kayaks are available in the park in Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures. The cost of the tandem kayak is $30 per hour. Two hours is plenty of time for a tranquil paddling along the Wekiva River. After you’ve paddled and refreshed by the hot springs enjoy a glass of wine at the nearby Wekiva Island, which is where you can also hire kayaks and river cabanas.
Wekiwa Springs is especially popular on weekends and hot days So, get there at a reasonable time in the early morning in order to kayak to beat crowds. It is important to take ample water.
Blue Springs State Park
Blue Springs State Park is situated just to the west of Orange City. It’s a great paddling spot for those seeking peace and tranquility along with abundant wildlife. But, the theme parks can become crowded during weekends.
Blue Springs is a popular name for its crystal clear blue waters and a large number of manatees. Manatees are found in winter in the waters that are 72 degrees that form Blue Springs Run. Blue Springs Run. You’re not permitted to kayak on these water between the months of November through March, and during the other months between hours of 11 am until 5 pm.
There’s a launch for kayaks at the park, where you can hire kayaks and canoes that have direct access to the St. John’s River. This St. John’s River is the longest river in Florida and is home to huge amounts of alligators and birds and fish.
The Econlockhatchee River
The entire stretch of wonderful paddling on the Econ River (short for Econlockhatchee) extends over 20 miles. Most of the journey is through The Little Big Econ State Forest. Even though you’re away from city life, the area appears like you’re far away.
The river is narrow and winding with a low flow. There are shorelines lined by hammocks made of hardwood and coastal scrub. These banks comprise mainly sand beaches, and there are plenty of spots to sit for a relaxing picnic.
Shuttle service and boat rentals are available at Econ Outfitters.
Rainbow River and Rainbow Springs are situated near the Gulf coast, which is located in northwestern Orlando. They are located near the town of Dunnellon, which is small and charming. of Dunnellon. They are located inside Rainbow Springs State Park while the River flows to the south in its journey towards the Gulf. The clear and wide river is a well-loved tubing and floating spot So don’t be tempted to be the only one here during busy weekends.
The park’s state-owned portion spans an impressive stretch of river and has an entry point for headwaters at the northernmost point and an additional entrance to tubing further downstream. If you’re looking for a camping spot to camping, there are opportunities in addition.
The concessionaire at the theme parks provides kayaks, canoes, and kayaks for rent, as well as paddleboards, as well as tubes.
If you’re a fisherman, you’ve probably heard of Lake Toho, known for its huge bass. Lake Toho is a little under 23,000 acres. It is located just to the south of Orlando located in Kissimmee.
The lake is the headwaters of Everglades and you will witness a lot of alligators, as well as various bird species such as ospreys and Bald eagles.
The best place to launch your kayak is Scotty’s Cove Conservation Area, which has a designated kayak launch and parking.
The lake is open to motorized boats and there are airboat tours available on the lake. However, due to its dimensions, there are many areas where you can go on a paddle and be able to get away from everything. There are many islands including Makinson Island where you can camp for the night.
It is also possible to access Shingle Creek from the lake.
Being one of the top locations for water activities, Orlando offers a variety of opportunities to kayak. If you’re looking to kayak in a bayou or river or explore swamps and lakes or ride the waves of the ocean on one of the beaches in central Florida there are many possibilities to pick from.
We’re biased, but we think best kayaking is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate Orlando’s beauty Orlando from a different perspective. If you’re in search of an adventurous, challenging, and thrilling experience that is sure to delight your acquaintances when they hear about it later, then head out and get paddling!
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