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Official Guide to the Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Outdoors  

 Loxahatchee River .net -- Your Coastal Connection!

Kayak  Jupiter, FL
and the Loxahatchee River 

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The Great Loxahatchee River Race - 2012
Photo © The Great Loxahatchee River Race - 2012

 Florida's Designated Paddling Trails:

South Florida has miles of rivers, lagoons, lakes, and waterways... and of course, the mighty Atlantic ocean. This diversity offers supreme year-round kayaking & stand-up paddleboarding adventures for the avid paddler. Be sure to explore all of these "blueways" or paddle trails.

Whether you're new to the sport of kayaking, or a seasoned-professional, you're bound to find the perfect location in Jupiter, Florida to hone your skills; especially on the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River. Since we have such a diversity of waterways to explore, the type of kayak you rent or purchase depends on which of these areas you plan to paddle the most.

Before you run out and purchase that new kayak, you should do a little research and be sure your spending your money wisely. There is a vast (price and equipment) difference as you begin looking around at these human-powered watercraft. See Kayaking 101 further down this page.

Are you short on space to store a kayak. No need to worry... you can always buy an inflatable kayak and store it in a closet and even transport it in the trunk of your car. Check out the line of quality kayaks by Sea Eagle Boats below:

 Sea Eagle FastTrack Inflatable Kayak


Click for more information =>

 FastTrack 385ft


Kayak the Loxahatchee River (Riverbend Park):
When paddling the Loxahatchee River from
Riverbend Park, there is always a slight current taking you down the river towards the two dams (Lainhart and Masten). This current helps push you along your way, but remember that for every hour you paddle downstream, it will take you one hour and fifteen minutes to return. This is not a factor if you're paddling all the way to Jonathan Dickinson State Park; but many paddlers like the 2-hour trip, which takes you down to the second dam and back. Once you pass the second dam, you will begin to feel the slight affects of the tidal waters of the Loxahatchee River. The further you paddle towards Jonathan Dickinson State Park, the more you will feel the affects of the tide. This is usually not a problem, but it's always a nice bonus if the tide is outgoing, which will help carry you along your way to the boat ramp or dock in Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

The Masten Dam is the second dam that you will encounter when paddling South from the kayak launch in Riverbend Park. If you're lucky, there will be good water flow over the dam, which creates a waterfall effect. This can be lots of fun to go over in your kayak (for those experienced paddlers ONLY). Others can simply portage their water craft over the wooden ramp and dock. Note: there is a restroom along with trash bins located down the path that runs due East of the Masten Dam. This spot is a favorite "hang out" for paddlers, and is also the most common destination for day paddlers looking for a shorter trip. Here's a few photos of good times at the Masten dam:

Loxahatchee River Kayak Action - Masten Dam - 1 Loxahatchee River Kayak Action - Masten Dam - 2
Photographs at the Masten Dam  Copyright© RBR 2010
Loxahatchee River Kayak Action - Masten Dam - 1A Loxahatchee River Kayak Action - Masten Dam - 2A

 Kayaking 101:

    • Kayak design (ocean or sea kayak, fishing, diving, racing, white-water, one/two seater, sit-on-top, sit-in, speed factors, stability, etc.):
    • Kayak size (length, width, rocker, bow, stern):
    • Kayak Materials:
      Rotomold - Most common, virtually indestructible, fairly inexpensive, heavy.
      Fiberglass - Light, more expensive, higher maintenance, not good for rocky bottom.
      Kevlar - Expensive, light, very strong, one of the best options if you can afford it.
      Inflatable - Good for traveling, great for whitewater; the material and construction quality varies by manufacturer -- check methods for construction, bonding, welding, or gluing of seams. Best to do your due diligence and research the inflatable kayaks.

    • Comfort:
      This includes comfort items such as seat-backs and cushions, to wearing the correct clothing.
    • Clothing:
      Always try to wear clothing that is lightweight and comfortable, depending on the local weather conditions. The newer SPF clothing will help protect you from the damaging rays of the sun. Bring a hat and water shoes; also a dry bag for your towel, etc.
    • Safety:
      Life vests, whistle, first-aid kit, bailer, and water. Anchor, compass, and GPS optional.
    • Wind, Water, Tides, and Currents:
      It's always a good idea to check the local conditions before you head out in the open water. When paddling in large, open, bodies of water you will be affected by the wind, water conditions, tides (saltwater), and currents.

    Kayak in Open/Rough Water:
    If in rough water, a sit-on-top kayak is no problem, but take a few waves over the side of a sit-in kayak and that can spell trouble (unless you have a spray skirt). Also, check if the tide is incoming or outgoing, this will affect you if the wind and tide are both pushing you the opposite way you want to go. Some currents in our area, especially close to inlets can have massive currents that could easily tire out an inexperienced kayaker. You can play these currents and tides to your advantage with a little advance planning. A "float-plan" is always a good idea. This plan will detail your trip and you should leave a copy for a friend or family member -- for safety.

  1. Lessons:
    There are many paddle sport outfitters in the area that will provide instruction. Check your local paddle shops for instructors, lessons, guides, and rentals,
  2. Launching:
    Portable kayak/canoe dolly -- well worth the investment.  Good ones can be found for around $80.  Depending on the weight of your boats, you may be able to stack two on top of each other when wheeling them on the dolly.  Be sure to buy the dolly that includes a tie-down strap.  You should also take into consideration the type of substrate you will be portaging you kayak over between your
    vehicle and the launch site.
  3. Essentials:
    Besides a life vest, whistle, and dry bag - take along items such as hats, sunscreen, water, snacks, bug spray, camera, phone, water shoes, rope and maybe a camera.
  4. Buying your own:
    Our recommendation is to "try" before you "buy" whenever possible.  Consider where you will be paddling in order to pick the correct boat.  Shorter kayaks are great for narrow, windy, rivers, where longer kayaks are best for wide-open waterways since they tend to track in a straight line, and provide greater stability in choppy water.  



 NEW: Kayak/Canoe Launch Site Map:


Glossary of Kayak terms:

(coming soon)





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