The amazing water parks and the pristine sandy coastlines of Florida have managed to entice the travelers when an intense action or a rejuvenating vacation is required. Florida is, indeed, a traveler’s paradise, scattered with awe-striking landscapes, national parks, state parks, mangroves, swaying palm trees, and vibrant nightlife. At the same time, one should not ignore the abundant water sports providing an enriching experience. From parasailing to surfing, from snorkeling to kayaking, from canoeing to boating - you name a water activity, Florida gets you covered. While all of these are massively getting recognition, whitewater rafting in Florida seems to be not-so-popular.
River rafting is one particular outdoor activity that has all the ingredients to give an adventure junkie a perfect adrenaline rush. Since most outdoor lovers hit the beaches, Florida doesn’t have a great name as a river rafting destination. But, it is not all true. With more than 11,000 miles of beautiful rivers, creeks, streams, and other waterways, the Sunshine State makes one of the best river rafting destinations in the country. River rafting in Florida wouldn’t bring disappointment since an adventure-seeker has all the thrills at his disposal. Both the small and long rapids determine to make your vacation an unforgettable one.
Rafting is certainly not for the faint-hearted. As you embark on this invigorating tour, your raft would steer through the meandering, unbridled water overcoming parlous rapids, and rendering some of the breathtaking vistas. Not to ignore the splashes of water drenching you from head to toe – after all, you are in quest of something like this – aren’t you?
Here are the best Florida rafting spots to conquer the gushing and untamed waters –
The wild and gorgeous Withlacoochee River flows south to north (a unique and rare thing) and is so long that rafters often find this quite fascinating and return time and again. The pristine river is the fourth largest in the state and is a designated a Florida Outstanding Waterway. Starting in the Green Swamp near Orlando, the river meanders through numerous undeveloped lands and state forests before emptying into the Gulf in Yankeetown. During the raft, you are guaranteed for some of the most wonderful views of wildlife and the stunning Cypress trees. The river is 141 miles long and promises a gentle rafting experience for the whole family.
If you choose Alapahoochee River that travels through southeast Echols County, gushing into Hamilton County, Florida, get prepared to face the ultimate rapids. It has some of the most challenging rapids to stun the adventure souls. Otherwise known as Grand Bay Creek, Little River, and Little Alapaha, the 14.4-mile long river rises on the boundary between Echols and Lowndes counties at the confluence of Mud Creek and Grand Bay Creek.
The Aucilla River is as picturesque as wild. Runs 89 miles to the Gulf of Mexico, the river flaunts shoals and rapids that rafters will find quite challenging. Considering the challenging rapids and scenic nature, the river is definitely not recommended for first-timers. It starts in Brooks County, Georgia and passes through the Big Bend region of the Sunshine State, and finally gushing into the Gulf of Mexico at Apalachee Bay. Earlier, it was called the Ocilla River.
The Chipola River, part of the ACF River Basin watershed, is scenic. A tributary of the Apalachicola River, the 92.5 miles long river crosses Jackson, Calhoun, and Gulf counties and flows into the Dead Lakes States Recreation Area before emptying in the Apalachicola.
A natural haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the Suwannee River passes through an interesting area – the Suwannee River Valley. Already a well-known spot for excellent hiking, camping, boating, fishing, birding, bicycling, paddling, and picnicking, the Suwannee River has now become a rafting destination. Runs through South Georgia southward into the Sunshine State, the Suwannee River, which is about 246 miles long, drops in elevation through limestone layers into a rare whitewater rapid.
How to Go about It?
Whether your skills match with Class I, II, III, or IV rapids, you will need rafting companies to arrange guided rafting tours in Florida. The adventure aficionados will then be imparted knowledge about the area that they will go through and tips to handle the raft in powerful and intense water.
Rafting from Florida Vacation Rentals
Available in villas, condos, apartments, townhouses, and cottage, vacation rentals in Florida are located near to the attractions. Unlike hotels, which are mostly located in crowded areas, Florida vacation rentals are found everywhere in the state. Rafting from Florida vacation villas is more comfortable, relaxing, and exciting.