Island kayakers and canoeists take note: A nonprofit tourism and conservation organization plans to give Vero’s stretch of the Indian River Lagoon a boost next fall with a week-long paddling and camping adventure open to locals and visitors.
Paddle Florida has announced plans to conduct up to 60 canoeists, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders on a 45-mile trek, starting at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park on Dec. 2 and winding up on the St. Sebastian River on Dec. 8.
Paddlers will camp at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Round Island, Riverside Park, the Environmental Learning Center, Sebastian Inlet State Park, and Donald McDonald County Park.
The trip features an optional boat tour of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, catered meals, and nightly education and entertainment programs by local naturalists and musicians.
Founded in 2008, Paddle Florida has been hosting adventures along rivers, estuaries and springs in each of the state’s water management districts several times annually since then, promoting water and wildlife conservation, springs restoration and adventure tourism. But the December Treasure Coast adventure will be the Gainesville-based organization’s first in our region.
Bill Richards, Paddle Florida’s executive director, wrote to Vero Beach 32963 in an email, “Paddle Florida is always seeking new places to stage multi-day paddling events to fulfill our mission and to showcase the best paddling destinations, known and unknown, in the Sunshine State.”
Richards added that next fall’s trip to Indian River County was suggested by long-time Paddle Florida participant Don Yackel of Sebastian. Paddle Florida’s board of directors consulted with Indian River County officials and representatives of several other agencies to put the trip together.
For more information, to sign up for the Indian River trip or other excursions, visit paddleflorida.org.