Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

It was certainly a unique kayaking trip, navigating down the Middle River in Fort Lauderdale. Though primarily an urban landscape, there was a vast array of wildlife there.

One day before the TBEX started (a travel bloggers conference that I attended), small groups of bloggers were invited to discover various parts of Fort Lauderdale. As I’m interested in outdoor activities and nature, I chose to take a kayaking tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak. I love kayaking; Justin and I have taken a few kayaking excursions together. This one was different than others that I’ve tried in the past. On this Fort Lauderdale kayaking tour, we paddled down the Middle River, one of the main rivers that flows through the city.

We started our trip at Richardson Park in Wilton Manors, situated on the Middle River. We rode in tandem kayaks. My partner for the morning was Jessi from Outbound Adventurer, a travel blogging friend. We finally met in “real life” that day, and I was hoping that the whole tandem kayak thing wouldn’t be an instant friendship killer. Of course, we were totally fine and paddled with ease down the river and back together.

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

Here is a short video to show you a little bit of the action:

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The river was very calm and peaceful. The lack of waves and boat traffic allowed for ideal kayaking conditions. As the river is located farther away from the ocean, it’s not affected by any strong currents. For some of he time, we drifted by houses and urban developments. I was in awe of how the water nearly flowed up to the homes. In some cases, it appeared as though the water could easily flood these homes with one more big rainfall. I would be completely paranoid if I lived there, although I’m sure that the locals are used to the water levels.

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

The group kayaked under several railway and road bridges. For some of the bridges, we really had to crouch down in our boats, which added to the fun. As we floated down the river, the buildings slowly dissipated and the lush greenery increased. We were kayaking past mangroves with their thick roots sprawling all around. These mangroves offered protection to wildlife, particularly for small fish and aquatic life that could hide between the underwater branches. We spotted lots of wildlife, including many iguanas and ducks. The area was also known for its osprey and assortment of birds, crabs, and fish. Several manatees come and go from Middle River, and some stay all year around.

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak
Me and Jessi!
Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak
Manatee signs were everywhere


After two hours of paddling, my arms were feeling tired and the trip had come to an end. We were all treated to fresh coconut water with lime juice, which was super refreshing after all of that exercise. At the very end, we all raced down to the water’s edge because there was a manatee sighting. Even though I viewed just the top of its back, I felt very fortunate to have witnessed one of these gentle giants in its natural habitat. Despite being close to an urban centre, I’m glad that this section of the river was a “no wake” manatee zone. We need to take care of these creatures as much as we can.

Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

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Fort Lauderdale Kayaking

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Fort Lauderdale Kayaking 26.152066, -80.141398 Fort Lauderdale Kayaking TourAtlantic Coast Kayak Company, Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL, United States (Directions)

Atlantic Coast Kayak

Urban Eco-Tours at Richardson Park in Wilton Manors

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Fort Lauderdale Kayaking Tour with Atlantic Coast Kayak

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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Atlantic Coast Kayak via TBEX. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

12 Responses

  1. shere
    | Reply

    In The Netherlands there’re a lot of houses next to the channels, but that’s different than being so close to a river (the channels have a system to keep water level low). Living there is risky but also very charming
    shere recently posted…Harlingen’s singular buildings to sleep inMy Profile

  2. Arnie
    | Reply

    Ok! I’m officially jealous! That really looks like one hell of a good time! Can’t wait to give this a go as we really enjoy kayaking. But, are all the kayaks tandem? We much prefer singles.
    Arnie recently posted…Londons Best Nightclubs – Guest PostMy Profile

  3. Jessi
    | Reply

    I had a great time kayaking with you! Definitely not an instant friendship killer!

  4. Ruth - Tanama Tales
    | Reply

    Look like a lot of fun Lauren! I have been very surprised by all the nice things bloggers have posted about Ft. Lauderdale. I can use a bit of Florida right now.
    Ruth – Tanama Tales recently posted…Segovia: Aqueduct, Cathedral and AlcazarMy Profile

  5. Karyn Jane
    | Reply

    Aw, gorgeous! Those bridges in the video are WAY low, lol. And I’m glad steps are being taken to protect the manatees. They are so gorgeous.
    Karyn Jane recently posted…Borneo Is Burning – We Need To Talk About This!My Profile

  6. Haley
    | Reply

    I lived in Fort Lauderdale for 10 years and never did anything like this. We always take things like this for granted in our own towns. The manatee really are cool animals. They love drinking fresh water from water hoses on private docks and boats. It’s always a treat seeing them ambling along the water way. Glad you had a good outing!
    Haley recently posted…The 5 Most Ultimate Paddling Vacations WorldwideMy Profile

  7. James Dutreaux
    | Reply

    Manatees are one of my favorite animals. They’re like mythical beasts. So cool. I can’t wait to swim/kayak alongside them. Thanks for the great post!

  8. Sky
    | Reply

    My Florida bucket list just keeps getting longer! I’ve never gone kayaking before but it’s on my list of “things to push myself out of my comfort zone”. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stop in Ft Lauderdale on my road trip but if I do, I’m allll over this tour!

  9. Rob
    | Reply

    Looks like a great kayaking tour! So neat that you got to see lots of wildlife. I would love to see a manatee.
    Rob recently posted…Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Fishing Kayak ReviewMy Profile

  10. Ravi Shankar
    | Reply

    Looks like you enjoyed a lot, Glad people are enjoying their lifes.

  11. Dennis L. Ward
    | Reply

    At first I found this place on google and then decided to go there for kayaking. It’s easily accessible and people around there are very helpful and friendly. Love this place and enjoyed my trip a lot.

  12. Timothy
    | Reply

    Nice share. I really enjoy kayaking tour. Seeing the wildlife from the kayak is truly amazing. I will take a similar tour next month with my friends at Fort Lauderdale.
    Timothy recently posted…Review on Top 10 sea and touring kayaksMy Profile

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