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Outdoor Family Fun: St George Island Kayaking

Franklin County, Florida is home to hundreds of miles of diverse waterways just waiting to be explored. The gem of this popular panhandle region, St. George Island, is situated along the Gulf of Mexico, setting the scene for remarkable excursions by kayak or canoe.

Bring your own equipment, or visit one of the area’s top-rated outfitters to rent a variety of goods from vessels to gear.

You can even brush up on your skills with a lesson before hitting the waters to explore the diverse Forgotten Coast!

Kayak Rental Companies on St. George Island

Island Outfitters

Island Outfitters

Photo Credit: sgioutfitters.com

Island Outfitters is St. George Island’s authorized dealer for Hobie Kayak, Stand Up Paddle Board, and Bic Sports Stand Up Paddle. Owned and operated by Captain Larry Troy and his wife, Angela, whose knowledge of the region spans decades. You’ll find that seasoned advice is a welcome accessory to your kayak tour! Island Outfitters boasts a wide fleet of kayaks for rent including pedal and paddle models with 1-3 seats for fishing or recreational use. Life jackets are provided and required for all kayakers, and early bird specials are available for reservations made 30 days or more in advance.

 

Journey’s of St. George Island

Journeys of St. George Island

Photo Credit: sgislandjourneys.com

Journey’s of St. George Island is a full-service outdoor adventure company specializing in guided tours and charters as well as boat, kayak, and stand up paddle board rentals and sales. Perception and Wilderness Systems are their kayaks of choice, with options of single and tandem models. All kayak and canoe rentals include paddles, vests and tie downs, and Journey’s offers free delivery on multi-day rentals. The team at Journey’s are always prepared to offer tips and insight on the best ways to discover the island, by ocean or stream.

 

Jolly Roger Beach Shop

Jolly Roger Beach Shop

Photo Credit: jollyrogersgi.com

Jolly Roger Beach Shop rents both single and double kayaks by the day or by the week, as well as surfboards, stand up paddle boards, and all the essential beach accessories. There are a wide array of top name models to choose from – complete with life jackets and paddles. Said to be the most affordable outfitters on the island, Jolly Roger Beach Shop also offers guided tours, lessons, dinner cruises, and more.

 

Kayak Launch Sites on St. George Island

St George Island State Park is home to two boat launches. Though the ramp at East Slough is more aimed at small power boats, the sand beach at Youth Camp provides a great site for an easy on, easy off hand launch. Enjoy clear waters, shallow flats, wildlife viewing opportunities, and fruitful fishing spots as you hug the coastlines of the Apalachicola Bay.

 

The newly constructed St. George Island Public Boat Ramp is a concrete ramp on the northeast side of the St. George Island fishing bridge. The pier juts out 600 feet into the water, and the area is known to be an abundant source of redfish, trout, flounder, and other desirable species. The ramp accommodates boats of varied sizes, and limited on-site parking is available.

 

Just a short drive over to the mainland, you’ll also find numerous launch sites leading to a portion of the 100-mile Apalachicola River Paddling Trail, which stretches through the panhandle of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Kayak Safety Tips

Nature can be unpredictable, so it’s always wise to be prepared and informed before any outdoor adventure – on land, or on water. Adopt these simple practices to stay safe on your St. George Island kayak excursions.

 

Check weather forecasts multiple times before heading out on the water. Take note of aspects like currents, wind speed and direction as well as temperature. Plan to stay closer to shorelines on windy days, and prepare for abrupt weather changes when packing supplies.

Other Top Safety Tips

  • Know your area, including “emergency” escape routes from the water along your travel path.
  • Select a kayak that is appropriate for your size, comfortable, and free from excessive wear.
  • Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a life jacket on board. Attach a whistle to your life jacket, and always wear it while on the water.
  • Your kayak excursion kit should include: a helmet, plenty of water and food, compass, dry bags, paddle leash/paddle float, bilge pump, marine radio, flares, tow line, first aid kit, and sunscreen.
  • If you bring a dog with you, make sure you have a PFD for your canine friend too!

 

St. George Island off Florida’s Forgotten Coast is an idyllic setting for a kayak quest, and an impressive notch on the paddle of any respectable explorer. From serene, winding rivers to rushing coastlines, St. George Island offers a path for every level of adventure and skill.