The entire length of the St. John’s River is 310 miles and therefore among the rivers, it is the longest in Florida. The St. Johns River is about 5,000 years old and thus, it is a relatively young river.
The southern part of the St. Johns River is upstream whereas its northern part is downstream. For the entire length of the river, it drops only by around 30 feet and because of that, the river moves slowly.
Kayaking provides you with the best way to be able to navigate the river and see all the authentic beauty that Florida has to offer. You can cover all the length of the river, from its marshes that are narrow to the river’s broad expanses.
The river is highly accessible since it has 9 public landings plus 20 public landings found on the county’s attached waterways.
St. John’s River Wildlife
The amazing wildlife constitutes one of the main attractions of the river, apart from the beautiful scenery and other numerous things to do. When kayaking through the river, you will be able to observe different types and species of wildlife.
In fact, there are hundreds of different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, mollusks, reptiles, and many more. Some of the common known plants and animals that inhabit this river’s ecosystem include:
There are hundred of different types of vegetation and plant life on the river. Florida receives a lot of rain. Therefore, the vegetation is always abundant and flourishing.
Some of the plants include: Widgeon grass, dwarf arrowhead, sago pondweed ,marsh pink, lizard’s tail, horned pondweed, water lettuce, yellow water lily, Illinois pondweed, water primrose, water hyacinth, musk grass, mosquito fern, alligator weed, alligator lilies, Cardinal flowers and many others.
Florida is known for it’s unique wild life assortment. You will see beautiful creatures all over this state if you keep your eyes open. There are Bottlenose dolphins, round-tailed muskrats, nutrias, minks, marsh rabbits, wild turkeys, raccoons, gray squirrels, white-tailed deer, snakes, frogs, lizards, turtles, gray fox, manatees, Florida black bears and alligators.
It is very common to see alligators basking in the sun along the banks of the river. These creatures will not harm you so do not be alarmed or try to approach them. Safety is key when out in nature. This is their territory so please respect it and do not try to disrespect their habitat.
Since the river is open, you are also able to see a variety of different birds including wading birds, anhingas, cormorants, osprey and bald eagles. In the narrower channels of the river, you can also see various forest birds including belted kingfishers, great crested flycatchers, catbirds, parula and many more.
It is important to note that bird watching is best during the spring, winter, and fall. Moreover, you should also note that it is during March and April when you will be able to experience bird migration. With the incredible backdrop provided by the river for bird watching, you are almost guaranteed to have a lasting impression.
Kayaking the St. John’s River
Kayaking, as I had said before, provides you the best way to be able to sightsee what the river’s ecosystem has to offer you. The type of kayak that you choose will depend on your particular individual needs and preference.
Kayaking the river is easy and thus suitable for all the different kayaking skill levels even if you are a beginner. That is because even though the river is pretty curvy, no tricky maneuvering is required except maybe when you have to dodge an occasional fallen tree. The river current is very mild and it is not that deep.
If you plan to go kayaking before sunrise, then it is recommended that you visit the area during summer. Do not forget to carry around enough bug spray when visiting Florida. This state is a marsh land and a breeding ground for pesky mosquitos.
In conclusion, kayaking the river provides you with a better way to be able to see and experience the authentic and natural beauty of the real Florida in a way that is more relaxing and away from the city crowds and over crowded themed parks.