Experience Nature Firsthand Kayaking the Intracoastal HighwayJune 23 2016
By Freddie Haydn-Slater
Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are when my father and I would go on kayak trips together. These bonding trips would usually consist of us coasting along the calm, brackish river waters, commenting on the wonders of the natural world around us. I would spend most of my time scanning the surrounding riverbanks, trees and bushes for any signs of wildlife.
My favorite critters were the diamond terrapins, who would greet us from a safe distance by swimming alongside our kayaks and poking their heads out of the water every so often. My father, the self-proclaimed ornithologist, shared his passion for birds by pointing out all the different species he could recognize: king rails, ospreys and the great blue heron to name a few.
I still enjoy the serene sensation of floating along the emerald-green coastal waters in a kayak, but despite my dad’s best efforts, my bird knowledge doesn’t extend much further than pelicans and penguins.
Perdido Key is home to beautiful sugar-white sandy beaches and glassy turquoise waters which also lend themselves to being some of the best places to go kayaking.
Whether you want to take an adventurous voyage through winding rivers surrounded by dense woodlands or open oceans, there’s something incredibly peaceful yet exhilarating about a nice kayaking trip that appeals to my inner nautical nomad.
Big Lagoon State Park has been a refuge for wildlife since 1977 and is a great place for camping, picnicking, hiking and biking. But for the more adventurous visitors, the kayak trail weaves through beautiful tidal salt marshes and pine flatwoods that will get you up close and personal with nature.
Clear your mind with help from the plethora of flora and fauna in the area. Kayak through diverse landscapes and witness amazing wildlife from wonderful waterfowl to beautiful beasts. Pelicans, ospreys, herons and even the majestic bald eagle are daily visitors. Further inland, visitors can even spot foxes, raccoons, deer and more.
Johnson Beach is another refreshing spot to go kayaking. Here, you can get out on the open water, paddle towards the horizon and gaze across the sweeping vistas. Along the Gulf Coast you can easily see a myriad of marine life and if you’re lucky you might even spot a pod of dolphins.
Kayaking in Perdido Key is not only a visually stunning experience but also a great form of exercise for you and your family. There are a number of fantastic kayak rentals in Perdido Key, just be sure to bring some sunscreen and a camera.
Interested in kayaking this summer during your stay at Eden? Here’s a few places around the Key that offer kayak rentals: