Orlando is an awesome place to kayak. Within an hours drive of Disney, Sea World, Universal and the other attractions there are several spring fed runs, rivers, creeks & lakes well worth exploring. Central Florida Nature Adventures, LLC at 352-589-7899 would be honored to introduce you to these special treasures that Florida has to offer. We are located just North of Orlando, NW of Tampa, East of Daytona near the town of Mt Dora, FL.
Whether you're a Birder, Photographer, Nature Lover or just want to go play outside, allow us to help you create Your Orlando Kayak Tour! Looking for some fun for the wedding party or just quiet time away, corporate team building, home school activities or here on holiday...if you want to chill out on the lazy river or paddle some fast water, we have a tour designed with you in mind. Feel free to call us at 352-589-7899 or email either way.
With a paddler from Norway and three Floridians we set off to explore the Wild and Scenic Wekiva River and celebrate Rosangela's birthday. This being everyone's first time kayaking we decided to head upstream. It always makes for a nice drift back ;-). Everyone did great and we had many wildlife encounters. There were lots of Anhingas out and the Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons and Tri-color Herons brought their colors to the river. We also got to see the Red-shouldered Hawks, Osprey and Limpkins. There were a few Alligators and Turtles out sunning and the sky was Florida blue. The river is the best place to experience Fall and the trees are starting to show off their colors too. Great weather, the celebration of life and new friends = a great day for paddling!
We started our St Johns River tour with a treat. There were 3 Manatees rolling in the water right close to us. Up they came for a quick breath then down with their tales disappearing into the dark water. The Great Blue Herons and Ospreys were out fishing and an Anhinga was sitting on a branch drying his wings. Up in Blue Springs another Manatee gave us a few more passes. The Long-nosed Gar, Mullet, Tilapia, Catfish and Bream could all be seen in the clear 72 degree water. Spanish Moss, Bartram's Air Plant and Quill-leaf all grow like crazy in this tropical oasis that is the spring run. We even found some Resurrection Fern with Butterfly Orchids blooming on the old Oak Tree. It was a wonderful day to discover Florida's wildlife.
As we drifted downstream on the Wekiva we got to see a lot of wildlife. There were Red and Yellow-bellied Turtles, young and old Gators, Great Blue, Little Blue and Tri-colored Herons, White Ibis, Ospreys, Anhingas and a little red Cardinal. The Wild Turkeys were sounding off in the swamps and we found a place in the river with white sand bottom to get out and take a dip. That cool water sure felt good! On the way back we met this baby Alligator with a Damsel Fly hitching a ride on his head...it was a great day to be on the river!
Ominous clouds were on the horizon but we trekked on and made it! As we headed up to the Spring Run the tea colored water gave way to the crystal clear and we saw tons of Long-nosed Garfish just below our kayaks. A sunning Turtle and 3 ft Gator were laying on a log just below the Live Oaks that are covered with Air Plants, Quill-leaf, Resurrection Fern and Spanish Moss. We had an encounter with a lone Manatee hanging out in the Spring and that was a cool sight. As we started back toward the island the southerly winds helped us get there. Around the island, there were lots of Great Blue Herons, young and old, out feeding and a few still in their nests. We also got to see some Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, a Sandhill Crane flyby and a Purple Gallinule. At the end of the tour, I said goodbye to my paddling friends, loaded the kayaks and as I got in the truck, the sky opened up and poured rain...it was great timing and a great morning!
We hit Rock Springs Run at 9:30 with a nice 1 hour drift downstream. There were lots of fish bedding on the river bottom and with the clear waters you could see Red-bellied Sunfish, Bass and Tilapia. There were Turtles out sunning and a few small Gators too. We got to see the Limpkins with their youngens, stopped in the flats and found Freshwater Mussels, Clams and Apple Snails. We paddled back up to the swimming hole and some even took a cool dip in the water...life rough ain't it? ;-).
We started out today with lots of sun and a nice warm breeze from the South. As we made our way around the island we found a big mat of floating vegetation had blocked the way...No Problem!!! We all got a good run at it and muscled our way through. We headed out towards the swamp and found 4 Great Blue Herons sitting on their nests. The Little Blue Herons in the white phase are running around and the adults in the blue phase are getting their bright blue bill...we call that their Ode de Toilet or breeding plumage. 3 Bald Eagles did a little dog fight 500 feet over our heads and there were lots of Turtles and Gators out sunning. We had a moment with one that we accidentally spooked off the bank and he pushed a huge wave our way...life is always an adventure on the river!