I love a Disney Princess and Harry Potter as much as the next person, but I can only handle so much of the crowds before I yearn for an escape. Kissimmee is famous for the theme parks that attract millions of visitors each year, but what you may not know is that there is more to do here than just theme park adventuring. A short drive from my vacation rental is the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. Trail walk, canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard are all on offer in this Regional Park and all you’ll hear once you are on the creek is the sound of nature surrounding you. If you prefer the sounds of birds to excited kids this may be the “theme park” you’ll want to explore. A Kissimmee kayak adventure is the perfect cure for your overloaded senses and for some alone time in Nature.
The Paddling Center is conveniently located within Shingle Creek Regional Park. All I had to do was park my car, walk about 50 feet to the Paddling Center, fill out the waiver forms and I was ready to begin my Kissimmee kayak adventure on Shingle Creek.
I opted to rent a kayak by the hour for a solo adventure as I needed some “me” time, but I could have elected to join a guided tour or hike/bike the trails of the park.
The launch area is right by the main building so outfitted with a life jacket and a paddle I am ready to kayak.
With the water levels fairly low (Winter season) I decide to Kayak downstream. I may regret this on the way back as it will be more work but I want to enjoy the beauty and soak it all in on my first view. Cypress Trees, moss hanging from tree branches, and sunlight shooting down on the water transports me to another world. It is quite beautiful and very peaceful.
I’m not an expert kayaker by any means, so the skill required to navigate Shingle Creek is fairly low. It means I can really soak it all in. I love how quiet kayaking is. It allows for you to almost sneak up on the wildlife as they go about foraging for food.
I did see a few other folks along the creek but mostly I was alone. It felt like I had Shingle Creek all to myself.
I kayaked all the way to the marked end of the creek and was lucky enough to catch a River Otter dive into the water. I was actually filming a bird when I heard the noise behind me so watch the video closely and you will just see the Otter take a dive. I felt a little rush capturing that little fella.
As expected the return kayak back to The Paddling Center was a bit more of a workout but it was worth it. Love, love, love this two-hour escape into nature. In fact, I loved it so much I think tomorrow I will skip the theme parks and try another outdoor adventure in Kissimmee. There is way more to this town than Disney & Universal Studios. Way more…