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Spend your week paddling wild rivers, swimming in hidden springs, collecting seashells on a beach hike, adding dozens of birds to your life list, and visiting all six unique habitats that make up this area. Every day we will head out to a different location to paddle and explore. At night we will return to our luxury lodge with its cozy beds, hot water showers, and sumptuous riverside meals. We are lucky to have Wakulla Springs, one of Florida's best swimming holes (along with its enormous diving platform), only a few steps from our lodge.
Day 1 : Arrival
The leaders will pick up all participants at noon at Orlando International Airport on the first day. Our meeting place is at the bottom of the escalators by baggage claim 5A. We will then make the 4+ hour van ride to our base camp stopping on the way at a restaurant for lunch (not included in trip price). Basic kayak instruction will be given after dinner on the first night.
Day 2 : Wakulla River
After a wonderful breakfast, our group will head to the Wakulla River. At the put in, instructions will be given on the fundamentals of kayaking. Soon after, we will float down this extraordinary waterway. The source of the Wakulla River is Wakulla Springs. Because of the karst topography, the eastern part of Wakulla is filled with freshwater springs and circular groundwater-fed ponds and sinkholes. Early inhabitants dubbed the springs "strange and mysterious waters" -- a seemingly accurate name because in some locations spring water appears somewhat magically from the ground, runs downstream for several yards, and then disappears mysteriously below the surface once again. Of the many beautiful clear water springs in the region, the most famous is Wakulla Springs. Wakulla Springs is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. The spring flows up and out from an underground river at a rate of over 400,000 gallons per minute. Even at its deepest point of 185 feet, objects are sometimes visible near the bottom. As the spring water flows over land, it forms the equally clear Wakulla River.
Day 3 : Sopchoppy River
The Sopchoppy River originates in the wetlands of the Apalachicola National Forest west of Crawfordville in Wakulla County and runs 47 miles to the Ochlockonee River. Sixty percent of the blackwater river runs in the National Forest and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. It winds through dense forest, passes high sandy bluffs and limestone outcrops, and flows around white sandbars. The Florida National Scenic Trail follows the river for five miles between Oak Park Bridge and Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area. On past trips, people have always commented about how remote and wild this river feels. They also say it seems as if they were the first to ever paddle the river. Our group can expect to encounter the famous tupelo in full blooming splendor. The contrast of a huge, white, blooming canopy with flat blackwater is incredible.
Day 4 : Wakulla Rivers
Today we paddle the Gulf. We start at white-sand beach and explore a shallow saltwater bay. This area is frequented by whooping cranes and mullet fishermen! After our paddle we head for San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park. This is the site of the confluence of the Saint Marks and Wakulla rivers.
Day 5 : St. Marks River
The St. Marks River originates in the hardwood and cypress river swamps of the Red Hills area and flows 35 miles to the Apalachee Bay. The St. Marks River disappears underground at the historic site of Natural Bridge in Leon County and resurfaces a short distance south of the St. Marks Spring in Wakulla County. The St. Marks River joins the Wakulla River north of the bay at the San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park. After our time on the river, we will make our way to St. Marks NWR. This is the home of abundant wildlife, especially birds. Last year our group spotted two bobcats, four whooping cranes, red cockaded woodpeckers, and numerous species of snakes. Wildflower lovers won't be disappointed because the deeper sloughs and ditches are filled with blooming irises, swamp lilies, arrow head, and coreopsis. The day's highlight will most likely be the gulf sunset viewed from the lighthouse.
Day 6 : Florida's Premier Wild River
After breakfast, our group will head to the Wacissa River. Soon after we will float down one of the state's most pristine waterways. The Wacissa River is a clear, spring-fed river that originates in Jefferson County and flows 20 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The 12 known springs are located in the upper 1.5 miles of the river. The river winds through swamps and marshes. A little ways past Goose Pasture is the Slave Canal. This canal was dug more than 170 years ago to transport cotton to the Gulf. In most people's opinion, this is Florida's premier wild river.
Day 7 : Departure
By now most everyone will be in the routine of waking up, grabbing a cup of coffee, and taking a walk amongst state grand champion trees and a quick swim in the refreshing spring. Being our last day together, it's a good time to take a little bit longer to soak it all in -- it's been a long activity-packed week. At 9 a.m. we leave for the airport. The trip back to the Orlando Airport will take about 4-5 hours.
Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.
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Today, 07:30 PM
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