When it comes to family outdoor fun, you just can’t beat a day spent on the water paddling one of Florida’s scenic rivers. Better yet, take it a step further and pair a paddling adventure with a bit of camping or fossil hunting. Ready to get started? Here is a list of some of Florida’s most family-friendly rivers.
This unspoiled river in northwest Florida stands out with its dark water, white-sand bottom and white beaches. Blackwater River State Park offers full-service camping. Other activities there include fishing and tubing. Visit floridastateparks.org/blackwaterriver to find out more. Call Blackwater Canoe at 850-623-0235 to arrange a canoe, kayak or tube rental, or visit blackwatercanoe.com.
Withlacoochee River (North)
Starting at the Georgia/Florida line, the Withlacoochee River Paddling Trail flows 28 miles before reaching the Suwannee River. There are several options for day trips and overnight camping (both primitive and full service). Multiple springs, state parks and wildlife viewing opportunities make this a trip to remember, including the Suwannee River State Park in Live Oak. Call 386-362-2746 or visit floridastateparks.org/suwanneeriver.
Paddlers delight in this 100-mile southwest Florida river, with a 67-mile Paddling Trail, known for its wildlife-viewing and fossil-hunting opportunities. It is not uncommon to find fossils, including those of prehistoric sharks, when water levels are low. Families can enjoy slow, easy canoeing and kayaking along the majority of the tea-colored river. The Canoe Outpost is a good place to start and offers day
trips as well as overnight trips. Call 800-268-0083 or visit canoeoutpost.com.