Kayaking North Florida
(Last update October, 2016)
Welcome to the 5-Star Yak Pak. We’re an informal group that first began kayaking together in 2008 in the Gainesville, FL area. Most of us were kayaking newbies when we joined the group but we have learned from each other on every trip and we now paddle the springs, streams and rivers all over North and Central Florida on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.
This website was started in 2013 when we decided that we wanted to encourage more people to get out to enjoy the natural beauty of our Florida waters by kayak. We hold Kayak 101 seminars occasionally, but not everyone can get to Gainesville to attend and not everyone enjoys “lessons”, even though ours are informal and, we think, fun. We started with sharing some of the tips and tricks we’ve picked up about kayaking – things to consider when choosing a kayak and paddle, basic techniques of paddling, what to wear to paddle in all types of weather, an intro to touring, and some info on kayaking-related gear. You’ll find all this information in the section Kayaking 101.
Some of the things that we had to learn by trial-and-error or through much research and talking with other paddlers were: where it was possible to paddle, what the water was like, and where the access points were. So we added a section to share that information so that you don’t have to do as much work as we did. Check out Places to Explore to get our take on the local rivers and spring runs. Each river description includes an on-line map for general info, a downloadable River Fact Sheet in pdf format showing a mileage table and driving directions to boat ramps and launches, and (new for 2016) a downloadable gpx file that you can use in your GPS unit.
Along the way we’ve also taken loads of pictures of the things that are the reason we go out – to enjoy natural Florida. So we added a section called Things to See which includes our photos of some of the animals and plants we have encountered. We hope you will enjoy them as well as use them to learn more about the life along the waters you paddle.
In our Resources section you will find links to other websites, webstores, outfitters, shuttles services, etc. that we have found useful.
In our Videos we post a short few videos we have taken.
And in our Blog we post short descriptions and pictures taken on our paddles, usually the next day.
As we learn more and explore more, we’ll share the adventure with you here.