November 15, 2020 – November 21, 2020

Status OPEN
Cost $1,850 Per Person Double Occupancy
Travel Dates November 15, 2020 – November 21, 2020
Description Come and explore Florida’s Forgotten Coast . Witness the return of the maintiees and see wild flowers in bloom. Dive into the fall  at Florida’s forgotten coast. Spend your week paddling wild rivers, swimming in hidden springs, collecting seashells on a beach hike, add dozens of birds to your life list, and visiting all six unique habitats that make up this area. Everyday we will head out to a different location to paddle and explore. At night we will return to our luxury lodge with its cozy beds, hot water showers, and sumptuous riverside meals. One of Florida’s best swimming holes (Wakulla Springs) with its enormous diving platform is only a few steps from our lodge.
Included 6 nights lodging, 6 breakfast, 5 lunches and 5 dinners.  Daily maid service at the lodge. All ground transportation (to and from the Orlando airport), along with transportation during the trip. Van support transporting kayaks, kayaking gear, and riverside lunches. Kayaks (12 foot plastic Neckys) , paddles, and PFDs  two local guides/naturalists, gratuities for guides and maids.
Not Included Airfare / transportation to the Orlando airport, meals, lodging  and transportation before and after the trip dates, lunch on day 1, dinner on day 6, personal items, such as bug dope, sunscreen, drybags/daypacks, raingear, and footwear. Trip insurance is not included in the trip price and is very strongly recommended.
Payment Policy  A deposit of $ 450 is due with the application forms to register for the trip. Must have at least 8 registered and paid in full by August 1, 2020 for the trip to go. The balance of $1,400 is due no later than August 1, 2020
Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel prior to August 1, 2020 everything except the $ 100 ADK registration fee will be refunded.
  • On or after August 1, 2020 , refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100 will be refunded.
  • If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.
Trip Insurance It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any, you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.




Florida’s Fabulous Canoe and Kayak Trail Guide: by Tim Ohr and Peter Carmicheal
Cracker, The Cracker Culture in Florida History: by Dana Ste. Claire
Swamp Song: by Ron Larson
A Naturalist in Florida: by Archie Carr

The Wakulla Lodge:

Florida’s Big Bend Area:

Daily Itinerary Day 1: Sunday, November 15: 

Noon pick up at Orlando International Airport. Folks driving in will be sent a map and direction to the lodge. We will then make our way 4 hours north to our lodge stopping on the way for lunch (not covered in the trip price). Once we settle in and introductions have been made, we will tour the park and spring.

Day 2: Monday, November 16: Wacissa River

After a wonderful breakfast our group will head to the Wacissa River. The Wacissa River is a clear, spring fed river that originates in Jefferson County and flows 20 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.  The 12 known springs are located in the upper 1.5 miles of the river.  The river winds through swamps and marshes.  A little ways past Goose Pasture is the Slave Canal.  This canal was dug more than 170 years ago to transport cotton to the Gulf. In most people’s opinion, this is Florida’s premier wild river. At the spring head instruction will be given on the fundamentals of kayaking. Soon after we will float down one of the state’s most pristine waterways. Expect a stop for a swim in Big Blue Springs. The more adventurous can snorkel through the swamp.

Day 3: Tuesday, November 17: Wakulla River

The source of the Wakulla River is Wakulla Springs. Because of the karst topography, the eastern part of Wakulla is filled with freshwater springs, and circular groundwater fed ponds and sinkholes.  Early inhabitants dubbed the springs, “strange and mysterious waters,” an accurate name because in some locations spring waters appear somewhat magically from the ground, runs downstream for several yards, and disappears mysteriously below the surface once again.  Of the many beautiful clear water springs in the region, the most famous is Wakulla Springs. Wakulla Springs is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world.  The Spring flows up and out from an underground river at a rate of over 400,000 gallons per minute.  Even at its deepest point of 185 feet, objects are sometimes visible near the bottom.  As the spring water flows over land it forms the equally clear Wakulla River.

Day 4: Wednesday, November 18: Sopchoppy River

The Sopchoppy River originates in the wetlands of the Apalachicola National Forest west of Crawfordville in Wakulla County and runs 47 miles to the Ochlockonee River.  60% of the blackwater river runs in the National Forest and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.  It winds through dense forest, passes high sandy bluffs and limestone outcrops, and flows around white sandbars.  The Florida National Scenic Trail follows the river for five miles between Oak Park Bridge and Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area.  On past trips people always comment about how remote and wild this river feels. In addition they say it seems as if they were the first to ever paddle the river. Our group can expect to encounter the famous tupelo in full blooming splendor. The contrast of a huge white blooming canopy with flat blackwater is incredible.

Day 5: Thursday. November 19:  Aucilla River

The Aucilla River is approximately 69 miles long.  This blackwater river originates in Brooks County, Georgia.  It forms a natural boundary between Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor Counties.  The upper stretch of the Aucilla River does not have a defined channel, but south of the half way point, the channel becomes well-defined.  We will be paddling the middle-section which is considered the most scenic and offers the most exciting shoals and small rapids, not something common in swamps and slough fed rivers. Most of our paddling today will be on slow moving blackwater that weaves its way through ancient stands of cypress, sweet bays, magnolia, and long leaf pine. At eye level on the river banks brown eyed susans, astor, tick seed, and wild azalea are in full bloom. Expect to see otter, beaver, alligators, and if we are lucky a Florida black bear

Day 6: Friday,  November 20:   St. Marks River

The St. Marks River originates in the hardwood and cypress river swamps of the Red Hills area and flows 35 miles to the Apalachee Bay.  The St. Marks River disappears underground at the historic site of Natural Bridge in Leon County and resurfaces a short distance south of the St. Marks Spring in Wakulla County.  The St. Marks River joins the Wakulla River north of the bay at the San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park. After our time on the river we will make our way to St. Marks NWR. This is the home of abundant wildlife especially birds. Last year our group spotted two bobcats, four whoping cranes, red cockaded woodpeckers, and numerous species of snakes. Wildflower lovers won’t be disappointed because  the deeper sloughs and ditches are filled with blooming irises, swamp lilies, arrow head, and coreopsis. The days highlight will most likely be the gulf sunset viewed from the lighthouse.

Day 7: Saturday, November 21:

By now most everyone will be in the routine of waking up, grabbing a cup of coffee, taking a walk among state grand champion trees, and a quick swim in the 72 degree spring. Being our last day together take a little bit longer to let it all soak in, it’s been a long activity packed week. Our last breakfast together will be at the cafe in the lodge. It’s a four hour drive back to the Orlando Airport so we should all be ready to leave the lodge by 9 am. The leader suggests booking all flights after 5pm.

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact me if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S, Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.
Trip Leader David Pisaneschi
180 South Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12208