Our area abounds with options for novice and experienced kayakers alike. In fact, people come from around the world to take on the Trapper Nelson Challenge offered by Jupiter Outdoor Center. This epic adventure allows participants to follow in the oar strokes of this local legend, who established a homestead-turned-zoo on the Loxahatchee River. Jupiter Outdoor Center’s challenge is an homage to the weekly trips Nelson made from his property to the DuBois Home on the Jupiter Inlet for supplies.
Those up for it will start at Riverbend Park and paddle their way through the corridor of the Loxahatchee River for roughly three hours until they reach Nelson’s Cabin at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Stop for a picnic lunch and a guided tour of the historical site before continuing on. Participants can then paddle to a nearby campground for pickup or opt for a longer experience and travel on to the Jupiter Inlet for pickup. This “source-to-sea” option provides kayakers with a unique opportunity to encounter freshwater animals of the cypress swamp as well as those of Jupiter’s saltwater coastal estuary. Approximately 14 miles long, this is a day trip for true water warriors.
Get Your Glow On
Night owls rejoice! Get Up and Go Kayaking’s glow-in-the-dark nighttime tour is for you. As you paddle along in clear kayaks equipped with color-changing LED lights, you’ll learn all about Fort Pierce’s wildlife, ecosystems, and history. Darkened mangrove passages will give way to creatures, including the occasional bioluminescent comb jellies, swimming around your transparent vessel. With no traffic on the quiet night waters, this two- to two-and-a-half-hour tour feels like a very exclusive sojourn.
A New Discovery
While certain kayaking locales seem to garner the bulk of the attention, Kayak Lake Worth is spotlighting a hidden gem with its Snook Island Discovery tour. Years ago, the water surrounding the Snook Islands in the Lake Worth Lagoon were depleted and incapable of supporting wildlife. Now, thanks to the efforts of Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resource Management team, hundreds of species of birds and marine animals have returned—and the area is also becoming popular with manatees. This tour paints a historical and ecological picture of this region and offers plenty of photo ops.
Betting the Over Under
For those wanting to explore the natural environment from all angles above and below the water, Visit Palm Beach offers a Peanut Island kayak tour that includes snorkeling. Start out paddling across the clear waters of the Lake Worth Lagoon and alongside some of the gorgeous mansions of Palm Beach. Then make your way to the northeast side of Peanut Island before jumping into the water to go for a swim. Check out the incredible sea life in this region (voted one of the top 12 snorkeling spots in America by Yahoo Travel) before heading back.