Paddling near West Palm Beach

With the cold weather setting in I’m forced to think about the trip we have scheduled in May to West Palm Beach… and I’d like to know if you folks have any favorite paddling trails, places to see, companies to rent from, etc…

Ocean, river, flatwater, you name it… I’m game.

Preferably within an hour’s drive of the Breakers Hotel, but that’s really not all-important.

All advice appreciated…


Yes Sir…

– Last Updated: Dec-03-05 8:57 AM EST –

A must should be the Loxahatchee River.
Put in a Johnathon Dickenson State Park and head up river.
When you get to the historical Trapper Nelson's homesite, stop for a look around.
Then continue up river. From here on you will be in wilderness since the tour boats and the rental kayaks and canoes are not allowed any farther.
Go as far as you like.
There is a little dam that you can pull over and then keep going.
When the Loxahatchee Queen (pontoon tour boat) comes by, hop on it's wake and ride it for a few hundred yards or until the driver sees you and speeds up to lose you.

Good place and lots of fun, but check before driving there to make sure the hurricane didn't hurt anything.


I second the Loxahatchee River

– Last Updated: Dec-03-05 9:53 AM EST –

We were there last December and rented yaks. Lots of gators sleeping on the banks. One jumped in the water in front of our yak but my wife was in front of the tandem and I knew I would be safe- i.e.- the gator would have been full after digesting her:). However, I did not feel threatened that time of year.

Here is a rental link:

It is fun and scenic.

We ran the Loxahatchee down to
Jonathan Dickinson back in 1975. We put in above the interstate. But before you consider doing that, get a report from the JD rangers on how much new deadfall there is. It was a wonderful trip, but my wife and I had to pull over almost 30 logs or obstructions because the water level was low and the “river” had not been flushed out recently. After recent hurricanes, it could be better, but could be much worse. I’m glad we got to do it when it was possible… didn’t see another person or another boat until we got down to the park lagoons.

Thanks… and a question…
I appreciate the tip, and I’ll look that one up for sure…

My question is… well… are alligators a danger to kayakers who are basically paddling and taking pictures? I realize that certainly they are carnivores and I’m meat… but is this a real or just perceived threat?

Compared to say… sharks…?

Gators are absolutely no…
threat unless you get in the water with a ten footer.

The ones up to about 7 or 8 feet will get out of your way.

The bigger ones are liable to stay where they are, and if they do just go around them.

If you see little 6 inch ones keep away from them. Mommy is lurking close by and she is liable to let you know she is not a happy momma.

I have been paddling around them for thirty years and never have had a problem.

Once on the lower Myakka river we turned around because there was the biggest one we ever came across blocking the way and it was not about to move.

You can tell their length by estimating the length in inches from their nostrils to their eyes and then changing it to feet.



Loxahatchee River has my vote, too
I rented a kayak and enjoyed a day trip last year on my birthday while I was visiting my folks. You won’t be alone but it is very scenic…I saw quite a few gators but none concerned me…I don’t think anyone has been bitten for something like 20 years when an 8 year old boy got nipped by one swimming…at least that’s what I was told…here are pictures of my trip if you’re interested…

You are a great nature photographer
Mataharihiker. Your pics brought back some good memories of my trip there last year. Thank you.