Guided Kayak EcoTours
Guided kayak nature tours are a great way to learn about kayaking and the local environment. No experience is needed. All tours start with a short paddle instruction on land, midway through the tour you will take a break on a sandbar for a snack and swim (on most tours) in warm weather . Tours are planned to go with the current so you can work on those paddling skills and really take in the scenery. Along the way the naturalists describe the salt marsh eco-system, critters and local history. A 3 hour tour has about 2 hours of kayaking. Which tour we do on each day is determined by the tide that day. Fee $65 adult, $55 child under 12 yr
What to bring
Most important is something on your feet that can get wet, shorts or bathing suit in warm weather (wind breaker type jacket when it's cooler), sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and water or gatorade to drink. It might be good to have a change of dry clothes for the ride home.
Which tour we schedule is dependent on the tide that day. Tours are planned so you don't have to paddle against the current.
Simpson Creek, a tidal stream that runs between Big Talbot and Little Talbot Island State Parks, part of the greater Timucuan Preserve Estuary. On our tour we paddle through Fort George estuary, a series of tributaries that wind through the marsh, creating what looks like the arteries of the land. The water twists and turns creating intimate canals for the resident wading birds, fishing osprey, and provides protection for newly hatched fingerlings. The estuary is a fascinating environment, the lifeblood of the ocean, and the nursery ground for most of the life in the sea.
The estuary provides protection and abundant food for 90% of the large fish in the Atlantic. As we delicately explore this natural environment, you will learn about the incredible richness of life that is created and thriving in this magical world. Feel the culture and hearing the stories of struggles and triumphs of the humans that inhabited this area. With over 5000 years of history, this land echoes the tales of the Timucuan Indians and French Huguenots that once inhabited this landscape. Sit back, relax and allow the sounds of the estuary sooth your senses.
Depending on the tide we leave from one of two launch sites. At booking we will provide directions to the place where you need to meet. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.
Ft George Island tour
Kingsley Plantation is located on Fort George Island, one of the jewels of the Timucuan Preserve. While exploring this unique island from the water, you will learn the history that is woven into the fabrics of this landscape. Along our paddle we will see many species of resident and migratory birds, such as roseate spoonbill, swallow tail kite, heron, egret, and osprey. This waterway is frequented by lots of sea creatures such as dolphin, manatees, sea turtles, and many more. The striking blue-green hue of the water makes this feel like our own backyard Caribbean. After a short stroll through Kingsley Plantation's historical grounds we will set off to find secluded beaches to swim and play. Please note the 10 minute stop at Kingsley is not enough time to see all the exhibits, we suggest you return by car to see the entire grounds. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.
BarHopping tour (that's SANDbars)
The Bar Hopping tour begins as the tide is going out exposing many natural sand bars creating secluded white sandy beaches. The sand bars are covered twice a day by the tide so many times as the tide subsides it leaves in its path exotic shells, indigenous critters, and tidal pools, where wading and shore birds feed. Mid trip we stop for a break on a sand bar to snack and a swim in warm weather. Although it feels like you are in the ocean, the sand bars shield the waterway from the ocean swells making the water calm where we paddle. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.
Please note these tours are only scheduled at certain times of the year.
This is the closest we come to magic. For 4 weeks out of the year in the Spring, there is a special place where fireflies cover the forest floor in the park. On this tour we paddle as the sun sets and then our naturalists will lead you on a short, informative walk. As darkness falls the 'magic' begins. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.
Get a front row seat to one of natures most spectacular shows, as the sun slips below the horizon line and the day fades to night. Relax with friends at the end of the day. A calmness comes over the marsh at sunset as the golden colors of sunset are cast over the water and grasses. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.
Moonlight tours are scheduled from various locations.This trip starts before sunset as the marsh calms down from the day. After darkness falls look to the water for the bioluminescense that sparkles with each paddle stroke. The reflection of the full moon on the water is a magnificent view from a kayak- it is as if you are sitting on a giant mirror floating in the middle of the sky.
When the sky is completely dark and the stars are bright, experience discovering and naming some of the constellations that can be seen with the naked eye. At dusk our Firefly Kayaks create ambient light to ensure we are seen by other boat traffic but not to over power the beauty of the night. Fee $65adult, $55 child under 12 yr.