PADDLE THE PEACE
Paddle the Peace River with us!
Like the name suggests, Peace River is freshwater river flows peacefully through the wooded areas of Paynes Creek. Formerly called “Rio de la Paz” by Spanish explorers, the river has a rich history of supporting the large population of Calusa Native Americans, who occupied the area hundreds of years ago. The plentiful amount of fish provided a constant source of food, and the freshwater provided over 5 million gallons per day of drinking water.
The gentle flow of the river makes canoeing easy, even for the most beginner of paddlers. As you glide through the waters, look around you at the bountiful greenery and take in the quiet wooded area that surrounds you. Keep an eye out for birds darting among the trees, and turtles sunbathing on logs. You may even pass an alligator or two!
The most outstanding feature of the Peace River is its intriguing geology. Large limestone formations frequently emerge from the bank sand river bottom, creating shoals and gentle rapids (depending on water levels). Peace River is also a great place for fossil hunting. The slow current keeps the fossils well preserved and people flock to the river searching for ancient relics in the river’s depths. The river, of course, was a place where many animals gathered. If you look closely you can find the fossilised remains of mammoths, bison, alligators, and mastodons and you sift through the sand and dirt.
We will begin our adventure at the official beginning of the Peace River Paddling Trail at Fort Meade and wind through cypress swamps, shady hammocks and hardwood forests to end 67 miles later, at State Road 70, just west of Arcadia. If the river is running high we might put in above Fort Meade closer to Bartow.
We will paddle the entire 67 miles beginning at the Highway 60 bridge in Bartow and end up in Arcadia. A great river map and guide can be found here.
The plan is to paddle 10-15 miles a day at an easy pace, stopping for stretches, restrooms, snacks, and swim breaks along the way
1638 Co Rd 700, US-98,
Fort Meade, FL 33841