The 2017 Florida Paddler’s Rendezvous just wrapped up in Ocala, FL, and with that came the announcement that the rendezvous for 2018 will be held October 26-28 at Bear Lake Recreational Area north of Milton, FL in the panhandle. The 2018 Florida Paddler’s Rendezvous is being sponsored by the West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club and Floridakayak.org.
Planning is still in the early stages, but the rivers and creeks that are tentatively scheduled include Coldwater Creek, Blackwater River, Big Juniper Creek, Turkey Creek, Boiling Creek and Yellow River. More rivers may be added as the rendezvous approaches.
A number of paddlers at this year’s rendezvous asked me about camping options and trips. You will find most of the rivers mentioned here on the website, just plug them into the search tool option. As for camping, there are several options. Bear Lake is in Blackwater River State Forest, and the Forestry Service has opened up to Reserve America. Some people were worried about the number of campsites at Bear Lake. Good news, nearby is also Krul Lake, north and south Hurricane Lake campsites, Blackwater River State Park, and north and south Karick Lake campsites. Registration for campers should open toward the end of November or beginning of December. There should be plenty of sites available, and yes Virginia, there is water, electric and bath houses.
The 2018 Rendezvous looks to be a great event. Don’t let the distance deter you. We have a lot of great rivers here along the Emerald Coast, including several of my favorites like Boiling Creek and Turkey Creek. I’ve met a lot of you at the Rendezvous in Stuart, Ocala and Marianna and I hope you can make it up to our area. Stay tuned for more details.