Paddling along the coast from Bayport Park, in Brooksville, Florida, is an adventure along the Gulf of Mexico’s tidal estuaries. Bayport park recently opened their brand new Coastal Paddling Trail, which connects to Linda Pederson Park. I received an invitation to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Coastal Paddling Trail. Although I mostly run trails through the woods, I was excited to be a part of the opening ceremony for a coastal trail.
Opening Day of the Trail
The day of the ribbon cutting was surprisingly cold for our usually mild winter temperatures. I wasn’t sure how it would be out on the water, but I bundled up in some layers (probably a thousand, but who’s counting) and headed to the park. Bayport Park is located on Cortez Blvd in Brooksville, Florida. I found the park easily, parked, and walked around a bit before the ceremony started.
Bayport Park is a calm park, right on the water. It has the new kayak/canoe ramp, ample parking, restrooms, and picnic pavillions. Plaques posted around the park present historical information about the area. Despite the chill in the air, the day was gorgeous for a stroll through Bayport Park. There were a lot of people here for the ribbon cutting ceremony, it seemed everyone was excited for this new paddling trail!
Bayport Park Ribbon Cutting!
When it was time for the ceremony, everyone gathered under a picnic pavilion. Florida’s Adventure Coast hosted this event. They are a tourism organization that promotes activities in and around Brooksville and Weeki Wachee. Florida’s Adventure Coast was excited to be opening the new coastal paddling trail from Bayport Park. They introduced all who had a part in creating the new trail and park amenities, as well as recognizing the Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 317 who created two informational signs for the park. After the ceremony under the pavillion, everyone walked to the kayak launch area to witness the official ribbon cutting.
Time to Paddle
After that, it was time to paddle! Normally, there are not kayak rental companies at Bayport Park. It’s intention is for you to bring your own kayak into the park to use the launch, or rent off site and bring the kayak to the park. However, for the opening event, Florida’s Adventure Coast had arranged a kayak rental company to provide kayaks for anyone who wanted to test out the new trail! I paired up with Diane from Nature Coaster in a two person kayak, and off we went!
The new paddling trail offers a 1.7 mile one-way trip to Linda Pederson Park, with the option to extend your trip along the Redfish Bayou Trail (a more advanced trail). The total round trip journey including the Redfish Bayou Trail is 4.9 miles. A perfect adventure on the water! For this day, though, we were only doing a short out and back along the trail.
I was worried with the chilly weather that it was going to be frigid out on the water, but it was actually perfect! The sun was out, and the water was calm. Diane and I had a great time slowly paddling along the trail, taking in all the sights. It’s quite relaxing being out on the peaceful water. It’s easy to follow the well marked route.
After a nice time paddling on the water, we headed back to the Bayport Park launch. We had to paddle against the wind a little, so we got a nice workout in. We arrived back at the park, thrilled with our adventure on the water. I can’t wait until I get to come and paddle at the park again!