Paddle the beautiful mangrove tunnels that lead through the tidal forests into quiet lagoons. The marked South Paddling Trail is easy to navigate. Expect to see an amazing array of wildlife on our journey, including great blue herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, yellow-crowned night herons, white ibis, osprey and kingfishers. Watch the water of the lagoons for super - athletic high-jumping mullets, stingrays, manatees and bottlenosed dolphins.
The Tampa Bay Kayak Club maintains the canoe trail, using the old canals cut through the mangroves decades ago to give minnows access to mosquito larvae
These shady leafy tunnels become magical paths through acres of graceful mangrove trees. Tiny black crabs scuttle across the surrealistically arched mangrove roots as you paddle past them in the tunnels.
Starting at the south end of the island, thirty-nine signs lead us clockwise around the mangrove jungles.
No parking/launching fees.
No shuttle necessary.
Suggestions of items to bring:
• Dry bag
• Swimsuit and towel (and possible change of clothes)
• Bug spray and sunscreen
There are nice spots to get out of the kayaks and cool off in the clear salty water of the lagoon. And hopefully have some dolphin encounters!
Last time I was there we joined a bunch of boaters at a sandbar near the end, and shared a few drinks.
RENTALS- Sweetwater Kayaks[masked]- (on site)
On the weekends Sweetwater Kayaks offers 4-hour rentals. Reservations are highly recommended and may be made for either 9:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. . ALL walk-up rentals are subject to boat availability.
I am setting the Meetup to the earlier 9AM block in order to avoid the hot mid-day temperatures, as well as to reduce the chance of running into afternoon thunderstorms.
Link to their website: http://sweetwaterkayaks.wordpress.com/rentals/
Weekend Rental Rates:
1 person kayak $40
2 person kayak $56
Stand Up Paddleboard $50
**10% group discount if we have 10 or more renting.