Recently, we had some time on our hands so we visited the Steffee Landing Paddling Center located on Shingle Creek.
Renting Kayaks at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek
When we arrived at The Paddling Center at Shingle creek we were met with a couple of knowledgeable employees who were very eager to help us out. Being a bit skeptical about kayaking on the river they were very helpful in telling us what to expect.
They rent kayaks for a reasonable fee and were more than happy to give us instructions. The first pleasant surprise was that getting into a two-person kayak was easy and safe. It turns out that they very stable, even more so than canoes.
Paddling is very easy, particularly if you ever used a canoe. Within minutes, we were enjoying a paddle down the river towards a Cypress Forest. We chose this direction because we wanted to see the forest, but we also could have gone upriver as well.
The Shingle River is a slow moving river so we never worried about getting stuck upstream and not making our way back.
For a couple of hours, we were very relaxed and in harmony with the Florida wildlife. During that time, we saw osprey fishing, as well as turtles, sunbathing and swimming.
Also, we saw fish in the clear water, some over a foot long and not very afraid of the boat. There are also hiking and biking trails at the same landing as well as at other landings on the creek. Fortunately, for us, it was a slightly cool and overcast day. Between the weather and the shade of the trees, we were not sunburned or overheated from the paddling. Still, we would suggest you bring drinking water and suntan lotion with you. You might even want to pack a snack to eat on the way.
We paddled by other kayakers going in the opposite direction and shared our sightings with each other. At the furthest point from the landing, we were in the heart of a Cypress forest and the open waterway was becoming very narrow.
At that point, we opted to turn around and slowly head back. I must admit that kayaking from Steffee Landing Paddling Center is an experience to savor while slowly cruising along and observing Florida’s nature at its finest.