Sea Kayaking Trail Featured on WFSU Dimensions

by: Doug Alderson, Outdoor & Nature Expert

WFSU film crew Tony Bentulan and Rob Diaz De VillegasThis week I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany a WFSU film crew to St. George Island State Park to shoot an episode of Dimensions. In this episode, they are featuring the Forgotten Coast segment of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, a 1,515-mile sea kayaking trail around the entire Florida coastline that I mapped for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. We arrived in the morning just after a rain and the sky was perfect for filming and photography. And not too hot, either.

The wildlife cooperated, too. A gull landed in the shallow water in front of us to pick up a blue crab and devour it for the camera. Then a small shark cruised into the shallows, dorsal fin fully exposed, and circled a couple of times in case we didn't catch him the first time. The animals are well trained on St. George!


St. George Island State Park has two primitive campsites on the trail for paddlers: Gap Point and Sugar Hill. Each one can be reserved through the park for only $5 a person. The entire segment is 57 miles, from St. Joseph Peninsula State Park to St. George Island. In between are the completely undeveloped St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge and Cape St. George State Reserve. You can't find a more pristine section of coastline anywhere, and both border the biologically rich Apalachicola Bay. I had a memorable three-day kayak trip from Indian Pass to St. George Island a few years ago, one in which we caught fresh sea trout in front of our campsites!


I'm hoping the film crew will cover other segments of the trail, especially along the scenic St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the remote Big Bend. For now, enjoy viewing the Forgotten Coast segment. The show aired Wednesday, September 14th, at 7:30 p.m. on WFSU and can be viewed online. Dimensions airs twice monthly and covers interesting travel destinations in our area.

Doug Alderson. Outdoor & Nature Expert from Tallahassee, FL Author:

Doug Alderson

Outdoor & Nature Expert

Bio:

Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth (Quest Books 2007), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, Mother Earth News and Shaman's Drum. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.

Looking for more?