The Ultimate Kayaking Destinations Near Wellen Park

From rivers to inlets, and even a grand lake in future Downtown Wellen, there are seemingly endless ways to enjoy the waterside vibes when you live at Wellen Park.

With inlets parallel to Gulf shore beaches and the Myakka River just a stone’s throw away, you’re bound to find the perfect location for your next adventure. Read on to explore our favorite places to go kayaking near Wellen Park.

An aerial shot of the meandering Myakka River, shot by @rynoluzo (IG).

Making Memories on the Myakka

The majestic Myakka River is Florida’s first state-designated Wild and Scenic River, and houses plenty of kayak launches along its banks. Better yet, the Myakka River is just a short drive from Wellen Park, which makes for easy excursions close to home.

Senator Bob Johnson’s Landing is by far your closest option — it’s located just a few minutes down Tamiami Trail! Launch into the Myakka River to enjoy the calm waters and unique flora and fauna that surround you. Paddle downstream to visit the Myakka Rookery, a Designated Critical Wildlife Area, which serves as an essential nesting ground for wood storks. This location has an accessible kayak and canoe launch, too.

Drive just a bit further and you’ll find the Carlton Reserve Launch, which was built with love by volunteers. The leisurely paddle down to the Snook Haven segment of the Myakka only takes about 30 minutes, which makes for a quick but satisfying trip. If you’re looking to spend more time in this area, check out the Snook Haven Restaurant, which serves up house-smoked barbecue and regularly hosts live bands.

A colorful kayak off the coast of Caspersen Beach, shot by @bepassionatealways (IG).

Make Waves with Gulf Shore Kayaking

Caspersen Beach, located just a short drive west of Wellen Park, is known for shark’s teeth, white sand, and sparkling waters — but did you know about their kayak launch? This launch doesn’t lead into the Gulf, but instead into Red Lake, which is parallel to the shoreline. Skim the mangrove edges for close-up views of waders, such as reddish egrets and night-herons during high tide. Red Lake is perfect for exploring canals and is teeming with fish, too — some even jump right out of the water!

If you’re looking for a more intermediate-level kayaking excursion, you’ll want to head to Nokomis Beach, also a short drive west of Wellen Park. There you’ll find the North Jetty Launch, where you can kayak and explore the mangrove-lined waterways that lead into the Gulf. Head to any of the bays in the area, or check out Turtle Island, Cactus Island, and Bird Island and see what wildlife you can spot. The jetty is in a manatee zone, and it’s common to have manatees and dolphins join kayakers! If you’re ready for a bite to eat, you can even paddle right up to Pop’s Sunset Grill to enjoy a fresh fish sandwich and a cold beverage.

Even More to Explore

In case you missed it, we’re planning an 80-acre lake which is set to be the crown jewel of Downtown Wellen. The lake will provide more than just gorgeous sunset views — the new accompanying Vibes Outfitter will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks for rent. These new kayaking capabilities right here in our community are just another way that residents live well at Wellen Park.

Some Quick Tips

Whether you’re going for a quick paddle or a full day excursion, here’s a list of gear you may want to bring with you:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks or lunch
  • Water shoes
  • A hat or sunglasses
  • Life jacket and safety whistle (if you don’t have your own, they will be provided with a rental kayak)

At Wellen Park, we’re so fortunate to live in such a unique and gorgeous location. Watersports such as canoeing or kayaking is a fun way to experience the magical flora and fauna of Southwestern Florida. Remember to always treat wildlife with respect and to leave no trace so we can keep the magic alive for generations to come. Happy exploring!

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