SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SPRING TRIP
Everglades Natl Park - Naples - Ft Myers
Skill Level: Intermediate.
Trip Difficulty: Moderate. Capable of paddling 15 miles.
Join us as Paul & Jason lead you on this fantastic paddling adventure of day-trip outings in Southwest Florida. This has been a popular destination for us and we want to include you as we continue the tradition.
We'll depart Indy on Friday April 11th and return on Saturday April 19th, the day before Easter.
Here is a great opportunity to explore a location outside of the Hoosier state...Southwest Florida, 10000 Islands of the Everglades, Ft Myers & Naples areas!
We will lodge at a private residence in Everglades City & spend each day exploring portions of the Gulf's Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail north of Naples toward Ft Myers & many protected bays near the Isles of Capri & Marco Island. You will explore the gulf, mangrove tunnels, rivers and venture out into the mangroves of 10,000 Islands of the Everglades. You will view a huge array of wildlife. If you ever dreamed of paddling SWFL, this is the most cost effective & personable way to do it. This method is much more affordable than renting boats from local liveries & hiring a tour guide. As experienced leaders, we've spent many days paddling & leading tours in the area and would like to show you one of our favorite places in the country to paddle. The only thing I can guarantee is that you will not regret the trip & will have some of your most cherished kayaking memories...
Where We Will Paddle:
The opportunities are endless, so here are a few ideas, based on the weather and the group’s desires, abilities and requests:
• Everglades Natl Park: Venture out into the 10000 Islands (Keys) and explore white sand beaches, mangroves and hike Sandfly Key Park, or paddle up the rivers and mangroves north of ENP.
• Turner River: A famous 7 mile journey where wildlife and alligators are abundant.
• Manatee Park: On the Orange River near Ft Myers, we can launch from the park and view 100s of manatees basking in the warm waters.
• Rookery Bay: Wildlife preserve and mangroves.
• Isles of Capri: Very nice & new paddlesports park/launch into mangroves & McIlvane Bay.
• Capri Fish House: Mangroves, Johnson Bay and the Gulf.
• Goodland City: Many paddles out into the northern end of the 10000 Islands.
• Cocohatchee River: Paddle up river and go out into the Gulf for surf and paddling with dolphins at Wiggins Pass. Plus, we can paddle the Barefoot Beach Trail to the Tortoise Preserve.
• Lover’s Key & Mound Key: Explore the circumference of famed Lover’s Key and visit/hike historic Mound Key, the site of the ruling chief of the Calusa Indians, the highest point in SWFL and made up of discarded sea shells.
• Sanibel Island: Ding Darling Natl Wildlife Refuge, Cayo Costa.
• Bunche Beach & Hurricane Bay: near Fort Myers.… and many, many more options …
• The Naples Zoo (non-paddling event if the weather is too bad to paddle).
If you have any additional suggestions or favorite area requests, please let me know. No matter where we go, you will see lots of wildlife; dolphins, rays, manatees, turtles, egrets, osprey, ibis, gators, and much more…
INCLUDED: We have access to a family vacation house in Everglades City, the Mecca for paddling in the Florida Everglades, and a great centralized spot to explore SWFL. I have secured this private residence for those joining us on this trip. On a first-come-first-served basis, you have the opportunity to claim a spot inside the residence, or if you would like to camp, there is plenty of room for tents or campers on the property. Available are two private rooms with queen beds, one room with a pair of twin beds, two sofas and an exterior lanai. In addition to the offered accommodations, there are many options in the area, including state park camping, a local RV park, The Ivey House motel & other smaller motels. I will forward info on additional lodging options at request.
Pricing & Booking:
The price for this trip is $750 per person. This is a great way to save on your next getaway vacation & explore an unforgettable area. In an effort to make accommodations at the house fair to everyone, we will require a trip deposit of $250 per person to reserve your spot. The balance of $500 is required prior to departure.
What The Fee Covers:
• Transportation - You, boat & gear. We will haul the FKA enclosed trailer with the 15-passenger van & you are welcome to join the ride.
• Food (partial) - We will supply breakfast & lunch of your selection. Since we are staying at one location, we will have breakfast before we depart each day and will pack our lunches for the daily trips. For dinner, we usually stop on the return trip after each day or we will dine at the house if time allows.
• Lodging - Accommodations in the house. Book now. Space is limited. Or, you can camp at the house.
• Fees - All national park, parking, launch & toll fees are included.
What the Fee DOES NOT Cover:
Optional transportation method to/from SWFL, optional dining out, souvenirs, & other unlisted personal expenses.
SWFL paddling can be unpredictable but manageable when monitoring all weather, nature & tide conditions. With this in mind, it is important to have the skills of the basics of paddling in adverse conditions in your toolbox. Prior to the trip, we will require that you are either pre-approved by Jason with the ability to demonstrate the necessary skills, or attend a scheduled Distance Trip Skills Day that will be available prior to the trip. Please let me know if you have any questions about this. We will spend a few hours on the first day of the outing practicing skills in a nearby protected park lake before venturing out, to make everyone more comfortable.
Boats & Gear:
As with paddling in any environment, you should have a boat suitable for the conditions. We will paddle in protected areas with minimal wind & surf and will venture into areas more challenging that will require the use of a spray skirt. You will need to have at minimum a 14' touring boat, with a 16’-18' sea kayak being most ideal. If you don't own one suited for this trip, Paul will secure a rental boat to fit your needs. A detailed list of items to bring will be provided.
We will haul you, your boat & gear to FL. No worries, no hassle. You have the option to travel with us or arrange your own transportation to Florida. We will gladly pick you up at the airport if you would rather fly into Ft Myers or Naples.
Depart: Friday, April 11 @ 9:00am, Indianapolis.
Arrive: Saturday, April 12 @ 9:00am, Everglades City.
Days 1-5: Day-Trip Paddles in SWFL, Sun April 13-Thurs April 17.
Depart: Friday, April 18 @ 12:00pm, Everglades City.
Arrive: Saturday, April 19 @ 12:00pm, Indianapolis. (The day before Easter)
PFD: Safety is a key aspect of our trips. I expect & demand that everyone participating will wear their PFD (Personal Floatation Device). I have never heard a good excuse for not wearing your PFD & you will not try to give me one. Unless you can predict the future, you MUST wear your PFD when on the water. Off-water is optional and stylish. :-)
LINKS OF INTEREST:
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Jason.
Let’s go have FUN in Sunny SWFL!
When you RSVP please answer ALL of the questions.
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