Peace River Fl. question.

-- Last Updated: Dec-12-11 4:59 PM EST --

My brother and I are talking about paddling the Peace River next spring. Is there a Fl. state park close to the river or accommodations you can recommend? We don't want to camp, but 'expedition' type lodging is fine.
We would like to paddle a couple of 10-15 mile sections on consecutive days.

Myakka river SP is not too far,
for what it is worth, the Peace River was one of our biggest disappointments in Florida Paddling.

We had planned a multi day 60 mile trip camping as we went. The first day all we did was paddle by cows, standing in the water on both sides with the smell of cow manure wafting in the breeze.

In the middle of the first night around one AM we were awakened by an air boat that stopped in front of the tent with a zillion candle power flood light aimed right at us, and some ongodly crappy music blaring at a zillion decibles and I fully expected to hear a shotgun blast any second.

In the morning once again all we did was paddle by cows standing in the yucky brown water, so we called it quits and paddled forty five miles, (probably broke a canoe record) to Acadia and vowed never again in the Peace River.

If you find any of those monstrous prehistoric fossilized sharks teeth, my guess is they really are cows teeth in disguise !

That was about twenty years ago, so hopefully for your sake things have changed.

jack L

String, I’d have to second
Jack’s comments. Parts of the Peace are beautiful but others are just brown and pretty boring. I lead fossil tours on areas near Wachula, Gardner, and Brownsville (for those 3-4" sharks’s teeth), and there are some pretty sections along the way but fossiling is the main attraction. Much of the Peace still has trash, or is just placid with cows on one side and no trespassing signs on the other side. Canoe Outpost in Arcadia, Fl or my site ( has more info for you. Instead, I’d recommend doing 40-50 miles of the Suwannee, a seriers of 10-12 mile paddles (Lithia Springs, Hillsboro River) or a coastal trip on the Calusa Blueway and soaking some of the history (Indians, Pirates, explorers) and seeing the wildlife.

I’ve heard many negative
reports, so I’ve not made it a priority to paddle the Peace yet.

Paddle Florida does a trip:

A friend of mine did this same trip recently (but with a group of friends, not with Paddle Florida) and she enjoyed it and says she’d do that trip again.

But I would also suggest camping at Hillsborough River State Park and paddling the Hillsborough. I got some great pictures of a cottonmouth swimming next to my boat last week. Lots of birds and other wildlife.

Little Manatee River State Park campground is one of my favorites (camped there in September and saw a diamondback rattler,) and the Little Manatee River is beautiful both upstream and downstream from the state park. Also close to the Alafai River. The Lithia Springs County Park campground on the Alafai is also very nice. You could camp there or at Little Manatee and do both rivers.

Or you could just paddle the Lox, and stay at Charlie’s house.

Thanks everyone, for stearing us away
from another ‘cowflop’ river and the suggestions.I’m going to look into the Hillsboro and Calusa Blueway.

Jim, if you enjoy wildlife,
The Hillsboro is the one to go to.

You can camp at the Hillsboro river State Park.

There are three different sections for day trips.

If you pick the Hillsboro, let me know and I’ll attach the three sections with descriptions, waypoints, launches and directions.

Jack L

While paddling the Withlacoochee
a couple of years ago, we passed a house, one of few on the river, and chatted with the owners who were by the river with their dog. The house is available for rent. Very nice setting, no near neighbors, and it is between the SR 50 and Silver Lake areas.

I haven’t gotten around to renting it yet, but I’d like to. Several very good day trips on the Withlacoochee. Silver Lake to Nobleton is one of my favorites. And you can paddle up or downstream right from the house.

Here’s the link:

Might be a nice option since you guys are not campers.

How much?
Wonder how many many it sleeps, do they allow pets?


Hi Ken,
click on the link back to Vacation Rentals by owner, and it gives you all that. They allow pets, but not kids.

It was a very attractive place from the water. I did not go in.

That is a great suggestion Sissy.

It was a GREAT place to paddle.

For beginners.

Thirty years ago it was still a good trip. tho’ we did pull out at what appeared to be a nice and easy ramp in the middle of nowhere to camp as dusk settled in after a long day of intermediate paddling and, uh, hard drinking… The morning found us staring at cows who (which?) were milling about and gingerly making their way around and between our tents and canoes down to the river, wondering what those damn yahoos were doing pitching tents in the middle of THEIR water access…!

Twenty-five years ago it was OK, despite tipping out of our admittedly overloaded canoe and losing everything but a hatchet and a jug of wine (thank goodness for that!) after they closed the river to further trips because of high, fast water…

But these days, more and more sections of the Peace have greater and greater restrictions on it, not to mention mammals of the bovine ilk, many more trippers, and quite a few more power- and air-boaters. We’ve not been back since.

I would say follow Jack’s advice, Jim, and find a better, i.e., a bit more undomesticated, a bit more scenic and a lot more pristine river to


-Frank in Miami

We are going to do just that.
how about the Amazon?

Paul’s been there and done just that! Put up a travelogue about the trip. he’s even got a busines partner down there.

The Amazon… Whoa! Now THERE’S a place to


-Frank in Miam i

I went on the Peace River about a year ago. Launched out of a park at Arcadia. Went N in search of fossils. It was an easy paddle, water was low, but more than navigable. Nothing remarkable about it, found a couple of tiny teeth. Did run into an airboat. Could hear him from so far away that it wasn’t dangerous, just very noisy.

To me the Hillsborough is a lot nicer, can do city kayaking up to wilderness where you can’t hear anything but the birds and bugs buzzing. Alafia is nice, bothare listed in the Hillsborough Blueways link below.

You might want to check out some of these links. Different places in Fl.