Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kayak Amelia

As this past week of non-stop rain has reminded us, Florida is a wet place. Here in Jacksonville we're conveniently nestled between the ocean and the St. Johns River with a myriad of streams and marshes cutting through the land between. And as the warm summer months approach, the impetus to move outdoors grows, thrusting us into welcome encounters with local water bodies.

One great way to stay cool and active is to go kayaking but unless you're going to make it a regular part of your repertoire, the cost of acquiring all of the necessary materials (kayak, paddle, life jacket, keg of mosquito repellant) can be quite high and transporting them is cumbersome (to say the least), so it's more advisable that the casual paddler rent rather than own.

kayak amelia

Nestled in amongst the sparsely populated and protected areas of Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island, and the Timucuan Preserve, Kayak Amelia is a great place to go to satisfy your Kayaking needs. And when I say nestled I do mean it. The turn is easy to miss so look for that sign. You can rent a single kayak for 4 hours at $30 or $45 for more than 4 hours. The price for a tandem kayak is $45 or $60 for the same time periods. There are also classes for those looking to improve their paddling skills.


But the most attractive offerings, and what drew us to the place, were the guided tours. These can be as simple as paddling around the marsh and learning about the wildlife, hopping between sandbars, or navigating the Fort George River along the same route that river traders took to the Kingsley Plantation. For the more adventurous there's the Sunset tour and the Moonlite tour that take you out paddling at dusk and under the cover of darkness. Trust me, wandering through the marsh under the glorious, colorful skies at sunset is an experience you won't forget.

Most of these tours cost around $60 per person which covers the rental and usually a snack. Recently they've also added Bike tours on Mondays from 10am to noon for $45 per person.

Even if Kayaking is not your thing, I still highly recommend heading to the general area. It's a lovely region and refreshingly unmarred by expansive development.

Kayak Amelia
13030 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville FL, 32226

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