Paddle Up” For An Amazing Journey Along the Gulf Coast Shores
Nature Lovers “Paddle Up” For An Amazing Journey Along the Gulf Coast Shores
By: Kelly Woodard
Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown wants you to “paddle up” and join him on the End to End Seashore Paddle, a series of eight paddles along the shores of the Emerald Coast, April 19th to April 26th, weather permitting.
The program, which Brown says is designed to educate visitors and locals alike about our shores and it’s delicate ecosystem, will host park rangers as guides to point out local wildlife and answer any questions fellow nature seekers may have along the way. Brown said, “We have so many amazing things to see here along our coastline from Osprey to dolphins to sea turtles. You name it, we’ll probably catch a glimpse of it. This is a great way to get active in our own backyard.”
The paddles begin at 9 am at the canoe launch area near Rosamond Johnson Beach on Perdido Key and concludes at the East Pass access on Okaloosa Island, (south of the Destin bridge). The paddle is segmented into eight consecutive days with varying degrees of length and difficulty. Participants may paddle the entire 58 mile length of the seashore or choose any number of the individual segments.
Participants should provide their own kayak or canoe, life jacket, paddle, drinking water, and lunch. A limited number of kayaks are available free of charge by reservation on a first come first severed basis. Please call Susan Teel at 850-934-2618 or Steamer Lawhead at 850-934-2629 for more details. Participants will also need to provide their own transportation for each leg of the paddle.
Each leg of the paddle is about three hours long, and camping is also available at the Fort Pickens Area of the Seashore. All sites are $26 per night with water and electricity hook-ups, grills/fire rings and picnic tables.
Superintendent Brown encourages visitors and residents to explore and enjoy the beautiful beaches, museums, programs, historic forts and recreational opportunities within the National Seashore, and added, “With so many things to see and do, this event is sure to give people the thrill of a lifetime.”
For a full description of the facilities and programs currently available, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/guis or contact the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center at (850) 934-2600.