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Kayaking at Deerfield Island

Listed under Kayaking in Florida, United States.

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Seclusion is an attractive quality in many habitats for both man and animal, however the secluded qualities of Deerfield Island, together with its status as the only island park in southern Florida, make it an unusual kayak experience. Once reputedly favored as a hideaway by legendary American gangster Al Capone, nowadays it continues more peaceably as a protected habitat for wildlife and visits during the daytime by anyone wanting to roam its undisturbed trails.

The best way to kayak the inland waterways bordering Deerfield Island is with local experts Atlantic Coast Kayak. They conduct two-and-a-half hour paddles that take you along the embankments but never coming ashore, since these are dusk to early evening outings scheduled to take advantage of the full moon. The routing takes you around Deerfield Island by way of Royal Palm Canal, Hillsboro Canal and the Intracoastal Waterway.

If you go with Atlantic Coast Kayak, you launch from Pioneer Park in Deerfield Beach, passing by the slips of Marina One, an elegant yacht basin. Then you paddle for a while along canals that run alongside stately homes which are associated with the area’s yacht club, and finally you make your way over to circumnavigate Deerfield Island, stopping halfway around to stop at the marina. You briefly get onto the Intracoastal and when the island comes into sight you can see it is an undeveloped reserve and still covered in pine trees. Birds that might show up in the vicinity include herons, osprey and white ibis. Other land-based local wildlife you might see some evidence of include the gopher tortoise, and raccoons. Get close enough to some of the trees and you might also glimpse the golden web spider. This kayaking experience is a journey into the fairly extensive canal system that are an intrinsic part of the southeast Florida coastline, an interesting tour of the region’s past and present that lines the waterways, displaying much of its human and natural history, along with one small island park that happily balances the interaction of both nowadays.

Atlantic Coast Kayak.

Written by  Hal Peat.

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