Steffee Landing Paddling Center on Shingle Creek
Recently, we had some time on our hands so we visited the Steffee Landing Paddling Center located on Shingle River.
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.
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 on Shingle Creek is an experience to savor while slowly cruising along and observing Florida’s nature at its finest.
As an interesting side note, the Steffee Landing is located just off the very busy highway US 192. You would never expect to find the very tranquil world there waiting for you to enjoy. All in all, it was an afternoon of pleasant surprises around each and every turn in the river.