Tour Cedar Key and also Crystal River by watercraft Kayak crystal clear rivers and also springs Lodge on the Rainbow River

The Trip

“A string of counties studded via emerald-prefer gulf waters, deep springs and rivers, extending along the exact same Florida coast.”

This is just how Sierra Club founder and also naturalist John Muir defined The Nature Coast in 1867. Much of the location has actually continued to be unchanged from its original appearance: brackish creeks run via a forest of towering pines and also shady oaks where bald eagles construct their nests, nature trails take you through a habitat that is over a century maintained, crystal clear, spring fed rivers and also springs beckon you to check out them. Historical Florida enchants you as a area trapped in time


The Trip

“A string of counties studded with emerald-favor gulf waters, deep springs and rivers, extending alengthy the exact same Florida coastline.”

This is exactly how Sierra Club founder and naturalist John Muir defined The Nature Coast in 1867. Much of the area has continued to be unadjusted from its original appearance: brackish creeks run through a woodland of towering pines and also shady oaks where bald eagles build their nests, nature trails take you through a habitat that is over a century preserved, crystal clear, spring fed rivers and springs beckon you to explore them. Historical Florida enchants you as a place trapped in time.

You watching: Nature coast kayak tours

The 980,000 acre stretch recognized as Florida’s Nature Coast is house to 19 threatened species, wildlife parks, preserved antebellum houses, pioneer homesteads, and also plenty of watermeans to paddle.

Florida has 174 award-winning state parks, trails, and historic sites. Rainbow Springs State Park includes Florida’s fourth biggest spring and also provides the possibility to paddle best approximately and discover the headsprings location. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park showcases Florida wildlife, including manatees, babsence bears, bobcats, Amerideserve to alligators, Amerihave the right to crocodiles, and river otters. At Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, visitors can witness the magic of a live mermaid show, take a river watercraft cruise, and also kayak on the crystal clear Weeki Wachee River.

The Chassahowitzka River, or as locals call it, “The Chaz”, is a five mile-lengthy first magnitude spring-fed river that empties into the Gulf of Mexico, and has plenty of tributaries to paddle and also check out. In addition, 31,000 acres in the location have actually been designated as The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge provides habitat for thousands of species of birds, dolphins, otters, and manatees.

With a populace only numbering in the hundreds, Cedar Key is a quaint, old fashioned fishing village and also tourist center wright here water is the emphasis. John Muir checked out Cedar Key in 1867 on his historical walk from Kentucky to Florida. A historical marker situated at Cedar Key Museum State Park commemorates his visit. There is a cluster of 13 islands near the mainland designated as Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge. Establiburned in 1929, the refuge provides a safe haven for wildlife and also redevelopment for people. We’ll acquire to explore the refuge by kayak and on a watercraft tour. Hopecompletely we"ll gain an exceptional Cedar Key suncollection too.

Water plays a critical role in a variety of recreational activities on The Nature Coast. The twisting, cool, clear, spring-fed springs and rivers of the location, and the saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico, are the perfect area for a group of kayakers to spfinish the day paddling, swimming, and exploring!

Day 1: We will certainly meet and start the outing at 4 p.m. at our Dunnellon, Florida lodging area. We will make introductions, assign rooms, go over the itinerary, and enjoy a vast welcome dinner.

See more: Nature Center Bloomfield Hills Mi, Family Guide To Nature Centers In Metro Detroit

Days 2-6: The expedition leaders will provide paddling and also safety instructions and also gain everyone geared up for an significant week of kayaking. Rather than have actually a collection itinerary, we will certainly wake up to a new adundertaking each day, depending upon weather, tides, and also various other components. We will kayak and discover as many of these areas as possible:

Rainbow River, Rainbow River State ParkHistoric Dunnellon VillageHomosassa Springs State Wildlife ParkChassahowitzka River, Chassahowitzka NWRCrystal River, Crystal River Archaeological State ParkYulee Sugar Mill Ruins State Historic SiteWithlacoochee RiverWeeki Wachee River, Weeki Wachee State ParkCedar Key, Cedar Key NWR, Atsena Otie Key, Cedar Key Museum State ParkSilver River, Silver River State Park

Day 7: After having breakrapid and also bidding farewell to brand-new friends, this Florida vacation will be officially over by mid-morning.

Getting There

Orlancarry out, Florida and also Tampa, Florida offer the nearemainder major airports. They are both about a 90-minute drive to our lodging place in Dunnellon, Florida. We encourage carpooling to and from our lodging. A participant roster and driving directions will be sent to all shown participants prior to the outing. Please perform not make take a trip arrangements until the leader has evidenced you as a expedition member. We will certainly carry out van assistance to and from our daily adendeavors.

Accommodations and Food

We will certainly spend 6 nights in cabins in historical Dunnellon, Florida. Participants coming alone will certainly share rooms and couples will certainly room together. Participants will take transforms helping the leaders prepare meals and clean up. The first meal will certainly be dinner on day among the outing, and the last meal will certainly be breakfast on day seven of the outing. We will certainly go out to dinner one time throughout the week; this dinner is not included in the trip price.

Trip Difficulty

Our kayak adendeavors will certainly function intermediate routes, averaging 5-10 miles in distance and 3 to 5 hours on the water each day on this Florida vacation. Walking will certainly be short ranges on fairly level terrain. We will sheight to take regular breaks and lunch each day. You require not be an skilled kayaker, but it is intended that you have actually some previous kayaking suffer and also that you are able to store up through the team at a reasonable pace. Basic paddling and also safety instruction will be provided on the initially day of the outing. Each participant have to understand that this is a team outing and that you will be forced to continue to be with the group while on the water and also follow all instructions provided by your guides. You should be versatile as plans and itineraries often change due to weather, team capability, tides, water levels, or other unanticipated factors.

Note: Please be mindful that alligators, snakes, dolphins, manatees, and even sharks are a constant highlight on kayak adendeavors in Florida waters. They are not interested in kayaks or kayakers, however you must be comfortable paddling among this and also various other wildlife

Equipment and also Clothing

We will carry out rental kayaks, paddles, and life jackets. You are additionally welconcerned carry your own favorite paddle or life jacket. A full equipment list will certainly be sent to all shown participants prior to the outing. We will provide van assistance to and from our everyday tasks.


McCarthy, Kevin M., Cedar Key, Florida: A History, The History Press, 2007.Molloy, Johnny, Canoeing and also Kayaking Florida, Menasha Ridge Press, 2007.Ohr, Tim, Florida’s Fabulous Canoe and also Kayak Trail Guide, World PUBNS, 2006.Stratton, Michael, Florida State Parks, Mountaineers Books, 2000.Watchild, Melissa, Touring the Springs of Florida, Falcon Guides, 2015.


Is tbelow such a point as environmentally friendly tourism or are some places being “loved to death?” Florida’s Nature Coast receive countless visitors every year. Whether visiting for a few days, a week, or numerous months, these travellers substantially influence the locations that they travel to. Some regulations and safeguards have been put in place: banning food or drink in its original disposable containers on particular waterways; limiting motorboat horsepower; no-wake zones; limiting or banning parking near headsprings and having actually buffer areas alengthy waterways; and also placing specialized containers near docks, boat ramps, and also watermethods to provide a place to discard and recycle offered fishing lines. These programs have definitely had actually an affect. Something as simple as banning original food and also drink containers on some watermethods has actually been very effective and also has actually reduced down on the amount of trash in these watermeans by a substantial amount. New environmental programs and also innovations need to proceed to be put in place to help additionally protect these locations. Something as easy as the forms of sundisplay screen and also insect repellant supplied by countless visitors results the setting and water high quality of the locations that we paddle and also visit. We’ll talk about what’s being done and watch if we deserve to come up through any kind of new principles.