Places To Paddle Near Ft. Lauderdale,FL?

Hello all,

I will be in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. on business next weekend (February 12/13) and wanted to hit a kayak tour of the nearby Big Cypress National Preserve. Actually a kayak tour of ANYplace interesting near Ft. Lauderdale would be nice. Unfortunately, it can’t be anything more than a day trip and probably shouldn’t involve too much driving to get there and back.

I’ve looked online and can’t seem to find anything close! Could someone here please recommend an outfitter that is running nearby, or better yet - provide a link to an excursion/tour that I can book soon?

Any info/help would be greatly appreciated!


A place to start…
Most of the Ft. Lauderdale paddlers are in Key Largo this weekend.

This is a good place to start

If they can’t help they will point you to someone who can…

Good luck, GH

Fort Lauderdale paddle spots
I live in Boca raton just to the north. Bunches of spots including West Lake Park in Hollywood, John U LLoyd, Everglades National Park and to the north Macarther Park in West Palm, Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton beach. All are within 2 hours or less of Lauderdale. I have lived down here for 37 years and now studiously avoid the keys which have ruined by overdevelopment and overuse.

Paddlefest Broward
"Saturday, February 12 - Paddlefest Broward

This is the second annual free event featuring all types of paddle related craft. Staged at the West Lake Recreation Park (Sheridan Street just west of the ICW in Hollywood) from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The event will provide free instruction and on-water demos of all types of paddle craft including kayaks, canoes, surf skis, rowing shells, dragon boats, outrigger canoes, etc. More than a dozen local vendors and clubs including Atlantic Coast Kayak, Peter Glenn Ski & Sports, Waterplay, Full Moon Kayak Company, Venturesport Surf Skis, Blazing Paddles, Kayuba, Competition Paddlers Association, Hollywood Rowing club, Paddlewheelers, and a host of others will participate providing free information, free on shore instruction, free on water demos, a free basic kayak class, and a host of free paddle related lectures. The only cost is the $1 per person entry fee into the park. For more information contact Dom Coscia at or 954-926-2480."

This is a fairly small event - but the park is very near downtown and the airport - has fresh and saltwater lakes - mangrove trails - is adjacent/connected to the ICW - across from John U Lloyd park (with salt creek on one side, ocean and nice beaches on the other) - and about 2 miles from Port Everglades (with direct ocean access, no portage, and big ships).

ft lauderdale
Definitely a great place is west lake park, you can even rent decent kayaks there if you need. the park is really nice and it is only $1 per person on the weekends. Lately the wind has been kicking so i have been staying inland. there are many trails and open areas, you can pretty much get whatever you want. you can go north and it leads into the souther end of john lloyd park. In the park there is even a concession stand we stopped for a few beers(not that we didn’t bring plenty).

if you want to get to west lake take I-95 to Sheridan and go east. it will be on your right after publix east of US1.

Loxahatchee River
I paddled this river in December. The wildlife was great; lots of gators and turtles. The foliage is also very nice. It is fairly narrow so you will do a lot of turning in certain places. It is also shallow so you may have to get out of the boat and push (or pull) sometimes.