With their pristine conditions, abundant wildlife and numerous launch sites, the Keys are a paradise for kayakers. There are many islands and creeks to explore. Paddling just a short distance you will find lush, uninhabited islands or winding tunnels through mangrove forests. Paddlers can enjoy viewing a rich diversity of marine life, ranging from manatees and sea turtles to lobsters, fish and stingrays. An array of bird life can also be spotted, from migrating hawks to magnificent frigate birds to brightly colored warblers.
Guided Kayak Excursions are available throughout the Keys, designed for paddlers of all skill levels. Kayak rentals are available for those who want to venture on their own into the backcountry waters of the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge in Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Information about the refuge is available at the Visitor Center on Big Pine Key.