5 Of The Best Canoe And Kayak Rental Tours In Central Florida

Canoe and kayak rental tours are becoming more and more popular. What was once an extreme sport has become a relaxing day the whole family (including the kids) can enjoy. But what are the best places if you want to try this fun activity? Here are the best canoe and kayak rental tours in Central Florida, catering to parents and kids.

Overwhelmingly, the best-rated canoe and kayak rental tours in central Florida are offered by Off The Chain Kayak Company, Colt Creek State Park, Get Up And Go Kayaking in Rock Springs, Sandfly Island, and The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. All these tours have near-perfect reviews and ratings.

Many places around Orlando, Lakeland, and Polk County cater specifically to kayaking and canoe enthusiasts. It becomes a different matter when you’re new to the activity and need a rental, and even more difficult if you are looking for safe options for your kids. 

But there are options in Central Florida that cater to your particular needs. Let’s look at a few of the bests.

The Best Canoe And Kayak Rental Tours In Central Florida

To ensure that a location in Central Florida makes it to this list, we are checking that they offer canoe and kayak rental, have guided tours, and are safe for kids so that parents do not need to be concerned. Here are the best options that fit all of these criteria.

1. Off The Chain Kayak Company

Off the Chain is a kayak and canoe rental company that operates near Orlando, in the Chain of Lakes area. The company will drop off your rental equipment at your desired spot, including kayaks, canoes, and all the other kits you need. They will even make recommendations if you are unsure where to go for the best experience.

Off the Chain also offers tours for those who haven’t done kayaking before or need a more experienced person to show them around. 

The reviews are excellent. TripAdvisor gives Off the Chain a perfect 5-star rating. 

Customers who left reviews can’t stop talking about the management’s excellent service and personal attention to detail. In addition, the staff is knowledgeable and experienced.

The Chain of Lakes area is known for tranquil waters that make for a perfect, relaxing afternoon for the whole family. Children should have no trouble keeping up, but it’s a good idea to have a tandem option if all the paddling becomes too much for them to handle.

2. Colt Creek State Park

Colt Creek State Park is considered the best place to experience Central Florida in all its glory. The park consists of more than 5,000 acres of native habitat to explore and discover, and few places anywhere in the world offer the same beautiful scenery found here. There are many ways to explore, including hiking, bicycling, camping, and paddling in a kayak or canoe.

The waters are tranquil enough not to offer a strenuous adventure. Kids will be able to handle a kayak or canoe with ease on these lakes. You can relax in the quiet, paddling your way through the beautiful natural scenery of central Florida.

Entrance costs only $4, and rental of the equipment is $8 for two hours, then $3 per hour after that. Though tours aren’t an advertised part of the service, you can arrange with a local or a park ranger to give you an expert tour and guide you for an added fee.

Reviews on TripAdvisor are excellent, with a total rating of 4.5 stars. The facilities are well maintained. The only complaints are the heat and the abundance of cottonmouth snakes, but heat is a natural part of the Florida experience (especially this close to the Green Swamp), and with proper care, the snakes should pose no threat.

3. Get Up And Go Kayaking, Rock Springs

Rock Springs is another state park in central Florida. It is known for slightly more high-adrenaline river kayaking adventures, and Get Up And Go Kayaking offers two-hour guided Kayak tours on these rivers.

Your kayak will have a glass bottom, which is terrific for seeing the underwater scenery and life. 

It’s an experience that everyone in your family can enjoy since it is safe enough for kids to participate as well. More than just a fun adventure, it will also offer them an educational experience since they can learn more about life at the bottom of a river.

The tours are only available to small groups, so it’s ideal for you and your family. The tour involves more than most of the paddle tours, so the price is considerably higher than most of the tours we’ve looked at. 

But it is still of unbelievable value, and the reviews on TripAdvisor are overwhelmingly positive, with only a few complaints, mainly due to the online booking system. 

4. Sandfly Island (Ten Thousand Islands)

Sandfly Island is one of the first kayak tours most inexperienced kayakers take.

 It allows new kayakers to explore the Ten Thousand Islands region of the Everglades. The island is one of the wildest parts of Florida with its famous mangrove swamps.

Visitors say that the Ten Thousand Islands is one of the most incredible places to see and explore, and Sandfly Island is probably the perfect place to start doing just that. Kayaking on the waters allows you to experience the natural wonders and beauty of the area you can’t experience from any other location.

The slow paddle of the kayak will also help you to take it all in and truly live in the moment.

You will be able to get to Sandfly Island with about two or three hours of paddling since it’s about 5 miles from the launch point at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, where you will be able to rent a kayak and even book a tour guide to show you all the scenery. 

The journey is family-friendly, and children will love experiencing Sandfly Island’s “abandoned island” atmosphere.

5. Shingle Creek (The Paddling Center)

The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek has many tours; among others, it offers a spectacular two-hour guided kayak or canoe tour, with optional equipment rental, through the swampy cypress forest in the Everglades. 

It is located surprisingly close to Orlando, making travel and public transport accessible.

The tour is labeled as easy and kid-friendly, despite its sights of all kinds of wildlife, including alligators. It is a scenic tour with serene environments, making it the perfect relaxing getaway for your family. 

The tour has a perfect 5-star rating. Only one review has any form of criticism, and it deals more with the fact that there were too many (ten) people on the tour, making navigating or hearing the guide difficult. Apart from that, the reviews are excellent, and people love the experience. 

The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek might be just the kayaking or canoeing adventure you are looking for!

Final Word

Central Florida offers exciting ways to keep yourself and your family busy. Of course, everyone knows about Disney World, but many of us desire something different. 

Kayaking or canoeing is considered by many to be the perfect way to relax and have an adventure, and Florida is full of opportunities to do just that.

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