The Suwannee River, Ocklawaha River, and St John’s River offer hundreds of miles of paddling in some of the country’s most unspoiled wilderness. These rivers support a variety of ecosystems including freshwater springs, swamps, sandy beaches, hardwood hammocks trees, and salt marshes. Shaded by giant Cypress and Tupelo trees, these rivers support a variety of wildlife and have deep cultural histories. On Central Florida’s east coast, the Indian River Lagoon, which encompasses Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, is the most diverse estuary in North America. Nearly one third of the nation’s manatee population resides in this 156 mile-long waterway, along with an abundance of dolphins and other marine life.
During this journey, students will complete an extended canoe expedition. This course includes learning the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of water conditions as well as portaging, orienteering, expedition planning, and Leave No Trace wilderness living. Participants will be paddling with a partner which means they must learn to work together and communicate effectively to navigate a variety of waterways such as lakes, rivers, and swamps.