ROOKERY BAY KAYAK TOURS
Explore the Backwaters of Southwest Florida with the Experts!
Join our exclusive ecotour partner, Rising Tide Explorers, for your next Rookery Bay Kayaking Adventure! Trips are led by active local biologists, certified naturalists, and certified kayaking instructors. Paddle through calm, beautiful mangrove tunnels, teeming mudflats, and intricate oyster reefs while searching for amazing wildlife, including sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphin and manatee! These tours are perfect for the first-time paddler or pro. Proceeds support Rookery Bay Research Reserve.
CURRENT KAYAK TOURS
Heart of Rookery Bay Kayak Tour
Sunset Bird Rookery Tour
Mangrove Tunnels and Mudflats Tour
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring my camera on the kayak?
Yes, but only if you are willing to risk getting it wet. Because there are no dry storage compartments onboard, we recommend keeping all valuables locked in your vehicle, and bringing a Ziploc-type bag for your keys and anything else you need with you. HOWEVER, FREE HD photography is included with every tour and is sent to you by email following your trip.
Do I need kayaking experience to enjoy this tour?
No. General instruction is provided at the beginning of each tour to ensure the comfort level of all paddlers.
Do you have tandem kayaks?
Yes. We now have tandem kayaks available through our affiliated partners at Rising Tide Explorers. Tandem kayaks are great for children under 12 years old with an adult.
Do you rent kayaks?
Yes, there are kayak rentals available through our affiliated partners at Rising Tide Explorers. Please let them know that Rookery Bay Research Reserve referred you.
I would like to bring my own kayak – is this OK?
Our tours include all equipment and are limited to 10-12 paddlers, for the safety and quality of experience. If you would like to bring your own kayak, please call (239) 530-5972 to obtain approval from your guide and receive a discounted rate for your guided tour ($50 per paddlers).
What if I get tired, lose my paddle, or get hurt?
These tours are low-intensity and intended for peaceful enjoyment and education, not competition. Beginners are welcome! Our experienced guides are ACA kayaking instructors and always come prepared for emergencies.
What is the difficulty level?
Difficulty level is beginner and moderate upper body strength is required. Tours do not encounter any rapids or dangerous crossings. However, in some locations kayakers will need to paddle into the current.
Where can I launch my own kayak to explore the Reserve?
We do not own or manage the launch site at the Shell Island Road launch, so whoever chooses to use it does so at their own risk. There is a non-motorized vessel launch on the corner of Collier Boulevard and Capri Boulevard just north of Marco Island called the Isles of Capri Paddlecraft Park. It was developed by the Reserve and is managed by Collier County Parks & Recreation.
Why must I wear closed-toed shoes?
Water shoes are recommended because oyster shells are among the potential hazards your toes may encounter while getting in or out of the kayak at the launch site and elsewhere in the Reserve in the unlikely event you end up in the water.
Will I get wet?
Yes, usually only from your knees down.
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