Kayak resting on a beach site
Paddling through Everglades
Everglades National Park offers many paddling opportunities to explore the natural beauty of this park through freshwater marsh, mangrove forests, and the open waters of Florida Bay.
Canoe and kayak trips range from a few hours to several days depending on length and complexity of the trail.
You can bring your own canoe or kayak and launch from several locations around the park or rentals are available in the park. Alternatively you could hire a permitted guide who will outfit your trip and lead your adventure. A list of permitted guides can be found at this link.
Day Canoe & Kayak Trips
Flamingo’s Canoe Trails:
These trails (located 38 miles south of the main park entrance in homestead) range from beginner to advanced and can be accessed from launch areas in the Flamingo Marina or along the main park road as you approach Flamingo.
- Nine Mile Pond:This is a favorite canoe/kayak location easily accessible off the main park road just before you enter the Flamingo district of the park.
- Hell’s Bay: This is a favorite of those wanting to paddle through the mangroves – a bit buggy during the summer season – otherwise a challenging trail but quite popular. Also accessible off the main park road south of the Homestead Entrance.
Gulf Coast Paddling:
This area of the park is on Florida’s west coast, accessible through Everglades City. Launching areas include the public, non-motorized launch at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center grounds or along the road as you head towards Chokoloskee. Private ramps are also available in Everglades City and Chokoloskee for a fee.
- Sandly Island Loop: This strenuous paddle crosses Chokoloskee Bay leading to Sandfly Island, which features a hiking trail on a Calusa Indian shell mound. This loop is roughly 5 miles round-trip; winds and tides can affect the difficulty of the trip.
- Turner River Canoe Trail: This is a visitor-favorite trail that can take a full day to paddle. One of the highlights of this trail include paddling through mangrove tunnels.This paddle can begin near Chokoloskee or Big Cypress. Visitors can launch from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Chokoloskee, or the Turner River Canoe Launch in Big Cypress.
- Halfway Creek Canoe Trail: The Halfway Creek and Loop Trails are accessible from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City or from the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center on Sea Grape Drive off of US 41. The Creek is 7.3 miles long from the Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center to the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. The upper loop is an additional 3.7 miles. Halfway Creek is not completely passable at this time. You can put in and paddle from Sea Grape Drive in Big Cypress south towards the HC 1 marker. To complete the through-trip, paddlers must head west once they encounter the HC3 / L 15 marker, and continue following the L markers. Once you travel across the “lake,” look for the L 14 marker. The numbers will continue to descend and take you to L 5 or L 6. From there, head west and you will come out by Everglades City. From the L 3 marker up to the L 1 marker is impassable.
Wilderness Canoe & Kayak Trips
- For multi-day trips, wilderness camping in Florida Bay and the 10,000 Islands or along the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway require careful planning, but are well worth the experience.
Canoe and Kayak Rental Information
Flamingo Canoe or Kayak Rentals
Gulf Coast Canoe or Kayak Rentals
- The National Park Service has awarded a 2-year temporary concessions contract to Everglades Florida Adventures to provide interpretive boat tours and equipment rentals at Everglades National Park’s Gulf Coast. Canoes, kayaks, and tandem kayaks are available for rent.
- Other rentals are available nearby through private businesses in Everglades City, Florida.