FLORIDA KEYS — A seasonal series of customized kayaking trips is on tap between mid-January and March 2011 for beginners, avid paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to experience personalized kayaking and camping expeditions in the Keys.
Led by Bill and Mary Burnham, husband-and-wife kayak guides and outdoor writers, the paddling trips range from single-night samplers to 10-day excursions through the Keys island chain.
One-day paddles around Key West's Southernmost Point are popular, as are overnight camping stints around the Middle Keys' Seven Mile Bridge.
The Seven Mile Bridge Crossing expedition is to be offered every weekend from mid-January through March. Considered an easy introduction to kayak camping and great for couples and families (two to six people maximum), its highlight includes paddling beneath one of the world's great engineering marvels as well as around tiny Pigeon Key.
Lower Keys Backcountry trips are customized to fit the short-paddling needs, experience and appetite of families and outdoor aficionados, while five-day jaunts are planned for hardy paddlers who want to explore the more than 200,000 acres of watery wilderness between Big Pine Key and Key West.
The Burnhams' signature 100-Mile Paddle to Paradise takes participants from Key Largo to Key West, following the path of the Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail. Adventurers explore their endurance and limits, paddling up to 17 miles per day and camping each night. This nine-night, 10-day excursion is offered March 22-31, and ends at Key West's famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square.
Prices start at $295 per person for two-day trips. All excursions include boats, camping gear, guide and shuttle services, camp meals, orientation and instruction. Group discounts are available.
More than 200,000 acres of watery wilderness exist between Big Pine Key and Key West, many parts of which BurnhamGuides explores in Lower Keys Backcountry trips. Photos courtesy of BurnhamGuides
BurnhamGuides are designed to help enthusiasts navigate the shallow tropical waters that surround the Florida Keys’ secluded coastlines.
Paddling beneath Henry Flagler's historic railroad.