Kayak Instruction & River


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Kayak Paddling Instruction and River Paddle Tour # P-IR11
Price: $275 includes 1 or 2 people, add $75 each additional up to 4. See discounts & more price details below.

Kayak Instruction & River Paddle Tour

St Mary's paddle
Brief Description: Early morning, instructional kayak course and/or a private guided paddle tour of St Marys River by kayak or canoe.

Kayak Paddling Instruction and River Paddle Tour # P-IR11

Private Kayak Paddling Instruction Course:

This basic instructional course is best done on weekdays and non-holidays during (hot weather) peak seasons. In the warmer months, it may mean instruction with nearby swimmers and some outside distractions. The course may involve up to 3 hours of instruction and practice paddling. You will be given a basic kayak paddling instructional course that hopefully upon completion of this course, (99% pass and are good to go for all our swamp paddle tours) you will then have some sightseeing paddle time on the river. The course may include a partial St Marys River Tour.

The focus here will be on you developing the basic paddling skill set and the techniques you will need for swamp and river paddling. Importantly stressed as well, is a thorough instruction on all gear and the safety aspects needed for kayaking in these unique black water worlds, the River and the Swamp. The river does have alligators but nothing like the numbers found in the Okefenokee and not in the area we will be using for the instructional course.

This course is tailor designed for beginners and entry-level paddlers or for those who are a little rusty and would feel better with a brush up. The quicker you get it and the more competent you are with your newly acquired  skills & paddle situation, well then, the more paddle time we may have to enjoy paddling on the beautiful St Marys River.

Private Guided St Marys River Tour:

An experienced paddler will not need the instruction course, so we get straight to the private guided St Marys River Paddle Tour. A yaker or canoeist will certainly enjoy the paddling environment of this isolated and unspoiled river with its beautiful sand bars and older massive cypress formations guaranteed to delight even a jaded river rat. You will be shown some beautiful spots hidden in this pristine treasure. The joys of kayaking or canoeing in this very gentle flat-water wonderland will be apparent.

This private guided tour is about 3 hours of watery explorations, Flora and Fauna observations and just paddling fun on the River. The St Marys River is the Okefenokee’s daughter and Atlantic Ocean connection. The River is an incredibly undeveloped, not really very well known secret “Gem”. The St Marys divides the states of Georgia and Florida. Or, if you enjoy a New World European history perspective, it separated Colonial England’s southern frontier of the Georgia Colony from what was claimed by the Spanish as their territory they named Florida.  Kick back relax and enjoy your time paddling on her. We might even stop on one of the numerous sandy Florida or Georgia beaches along the river to get out and stretch a little bit.

Includes: kayaks or canoes, Paddles, PFD’S, Guiding, transportation and a quick gear & check list of instructions. The river tour is only offered to experienced paddlers.

These are day activities, a usually early AM departures. Limited to 8 kayaks maximum including guide. More is possible for the river tour with canoes.

We need an advanced reservation with a deposit for the tour and/or instructional course.

You should bring: A dry bag for your stuff (seal able plastic or large zip-lock bags will do), optics, field guides, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jackets (we will go rain or shine, remember it is a water world you need to bring your own rain gear), insect repellent, comfortable shoes, comfortable clothes, full water bottle, snack and/or gatorade + extra water & bandanna in warmer weather. Be prepared and in shape to get some exercise paddling. Hot and cold times of year please check with us about some special instructions.

Timing Info: The busiest times on the river are usually the warmest months especially the weekends or holidays, a Friday afternoon, Saturday or a Sunday almost any time of year except for the coolest months could mean sharing the water with others. For those reasons and some other good ones, (like early bird catches the worm). It is important that we do this early when there is less activity, because we will probably have a better shot at solitude, minimal distraction and with a higher probability of wildlife sightings along many sections of river.

Guide/Instructor Steve Knight (see guide bio)


Consider staying in one of our comfortable, clean, cozy and convenient Cabins while doing your instruction course or a private guided kayak or canoe tour. It sure makes things so much easier, nicer & better for everyone especially you, to be right here. Enjoy being in the country and the fine natural surroundings, not to mention some great bird watching found here on our property. Okefenokee Pastimes is directly across from the main entrance to Okefenokee NWR and a mile from the St Marys river.

Take a break from TV (you might need it) although every Cabin and campsite has high speed internet WIFI reception and decent cell phone service here. All the Cabins are Non Smoking. A butt-can and ashtray can be provided for outside only smokers.

Our Cabins are Clean! & Nice! & Private! & Fun! And at a Reasonable Price! Charming plus Romantic for couples! You could stay at a B&B but it would not be cleaner or nicer, just fancier furniture (ours is simple but comfortable). Please go to the Deluxe cabin page for details.

Guided Tour Discounts given to lodging guests:

$10 – discount given to guests in our Deluxe Cabins.

Pricing and details for Groups:

Price for 5 to 7 people is $95 each. Price for 8 up to 14 people in canoes $85 each person.

Sometimes we can work a special discounted price for schools and non profit groups of experienced canoe paddlers, 8 to 14 paddlers total, especially when they are staying here at Okefenokee Pastimes with us. Call to talk with us about it.

Other groups of more than 6 experienced paddlers with their own boats and transportation may also be given special discounted rates. Please call to talk with us about it.

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