Canoeing & Kayaking the Big Bend's Steinhatchee River
If you are an outdoor adventurer, this is an area you will definitely want to visit! Whether you have a half day, day, weekend or week the adventure starts in Steinhatchee!
In Florida's Big Bend, running into the the Gulf of Mexico is the Steinhatchee River. Located on the border of Dixie and Taylor County, the river separates the seaside villages of Jena and Steinhatchee. In days gone by the river was used to run logging boats to cedar key where the lumber was used to make items such as pencils.
The Steinhatchee River is one of the healthiest rivers in the state, and is part of the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail. The trail offers the canoeist or kayaker the opportunity to paddle along some of the most uninhabited areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the river is not accessible by land. When paddling, wildlife is often spotted and a good opportunity to catch your dinner lies just below your vessel. The trail is not for the novice paddlers as the calm flat waters of the gulf can become choppy and are influenced by the tides.
Canoeing and kayaking from the Historic Steinhatchee Falls to the mouth of the Gulf is about a 5 hour paddle one way. Now as we've said before, there is a reason why the Steinhatchee river area is part of the pure water wilderness; we are a tad bit far from most things. While this is true, there are very good places to stay. From cabin, condo & cottage rentals, to RV parks, campgrounds, great restaurants, and marinas; Steinhatchee & Jena have all you need to help you relax in your kayaking down time.
There are also camp sites along the way, but you must obtain approval before using them as they will only house a small number of people. Permit application information is available at www.myfwc.com/recreation. Some of the camp sites have water, and others do not. For more information pick up a copy of the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail, or check out the web site above.
Hagen’s Cove and Dallus Creek are also excellent choices for day trips. They offer launch areas with vehicle parking. Steinhatchee is also centrally located with many springs and state parks within a day’s activity. Springs such as Manatee, Fanning and Peacock are all within an hours drive. State Parks–Ecofina, Manatee, Wakulla, and St. Marks are just a few hours away.
Click here for a link to Florida's Desginated Paddling trails.