The Peace River, located in the heart of Florida, is an amazing find. The river is a place that will transport you back in time to the Spanish Explorers. As an explorer myself, I am always on the look-out to go somewhere new and do something different. I found a great little place called the Canoe Outpost. The Canoe Outpost is located on the Peace River right outside of Arcadia where you can take a step back in time and experience “real Florida”. Little did I know until I met the great crew that they are the largest and oldest paddle sport outfitter operating on the Peace River and developed Peace River paddling almost 45 years ago. The Canoe Outpost was the first professional outfitter in the state of Florida, so being a Florida native myself I like to support my fellow “Florida Crackers.”
A little bit about the Peace River, it was discovered by the Spanish in the 16th century and they marked it on their charts as “Rio de la Paz” (River of Peace). It is 106 miles long and truly as beautiful as it was centuries ago. Today, the Peace River supplies over six million gallons per day of drinking water to the people in the region and is a very popular place for canoeing, camping and finding fossils. Yes, digging for fossils is a favorite pass time for a lot of guests and you won’t believe the size of some of the shark teeth they find. I sat down with Becky the owner and she showed me some of the fossils that have been found on the river. I put one of the teeth next to a 5 dollar bill and it matched up size for size.
The best way to find fossils is to rent a canoe or bring your kayak and work your way down the river. You can find all types of fossils including shark teeth, mammoth teeth, camel teeth, dolphin teeth, and mastodon teeth, I’m just glad they are not attached to a live set of jaws. If it once roamed or swam in Florida, you might find a fossilized piece of history on the river. All you need to get started is a shovel and a sifter, a simple spaghetti strainer will do just fine.
Maybe that sounds like too much work and you’d prefer to just spend a lazy day floating down the river looking at our amazing Florida wildlife. I saw a wide variety of animals from whitetail deer, alligators, otters and many beautiful birds. I was hoping to see a black bear but I am sure we were being much too noisy for that once we found the many rope swings that are ready for use along the river.
Becky shared with me something I am dieing to do, she said many of her guests have come for years breaking the mold on tradition. Entire families arrive on Thanksgiving Day full of holiday dinners and go down the river to have their feast on the river’s bank. Now that is my kind of holiday tradition. I’m going to try that this year and have a nontraditional and memorable holiday with my loved ones, of course no dishes sounds pretty good as well. If you want to have a real Florida experience, then pack a picnic, grab your cooler and head over to the Peace River. Spend the day drifting back in time and down the river remembering what it is like to have a peaceful day with the one’s you love and great memories to cherish. I loved the Canoe Outpost crew and all their services, they are on the top of my list, I am already planning my camping trip this fall.
You can get more information on Canoe Outpost and all their services plus
learn more about the river and the area by going to their website at www.canoeoutpost.com.