Rob Diaz de Villegas WFSU-TV
Here’s a vacation idea for you.
If you had the time, didn’t mind camping for months on end, and were physically up to paddling fifteen hundred miles, you could paddle around the entire state of Florida using trails mapped out by Doug Alderson. He coordinates the Florida Circumnavigational Paddling Trail for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Visit the trail’s web site). You would pass by major urban centers like Tampa and Miami. You would make your way through the entirety of the Florida keys. And you would see a lot of amazing coastal habitats.
Ready to go?
I’m guessing the vast majority of people reading this are saying no, though we would certainly want to hear from you if you were doing this. Luckily, the trail breaks down into twenty six segments, and over one hundred individual day trips. The one I’m interested in is Segment 4: The Forgotten Coast. It takes you through some of my favorite places. St. Joseph Bay has clear water and lively seagrass beds and salt marshes. Many of St. Vincent Island’s most interesting animals aren’t aquatic, but if you look over as you paddle past you might see wild hogs running or even one of those elusive red wolves (not likely, but it doesn’t hurt to look). Once you pass there, you could choose to either go along St. George Island or stick to the mainland and pass by Apalachicola, where you can try to find a place to land your kayak while you pick up some oysters.
We’ll be kayaking part of this trail for September 14 episode, and talking to Mr. Alderson about it. Have any of you done this? Are any of you attempting this, or any section of it, any time in the next month? We want to know. We want to see your photos. We want to watch your videos. Leave a comment below, with links to any videos or photos if you like. If you’ll be out that way in the next couple of weeks, we may want to interview you.
And we want to keep hearing from you. If you have any ideas for stories we might do related to coastal ecotourism, leave a comment on our Ecotourism North Florida page.