Best Place to Kayak - 2007
Loxahatchee River Canoe Trail at Riverbend Park
Although it may seem like an odd hobby reserved for eccentrics who like to flail their arms but not move their legs, kayaking is actually a popular South Florida watersport. There are sunrise kayak excursions in Hollywood and midnight kayaking along Fort Lauderdale's New River. But you can't call either of those activities "communing with nature." For that, you need to drive north to the Palm Beach County/Martin County line and launch at Riverbend Park, just west of the Florida Turnpike and south of Indiantown Road. This eight-mile trail down the Loxahatchee River is like most things in life: It starts out pleasantly, lulling you into complacency, then it kicks your ass. At first, you'll paddle beneath a canopy thick with bald cypress, orchids, pond apple trees, and ferns. And lurking both in the dense jungle and the cloudy waters are alligators, turtles, osprey, and bobcats. But then you cross under the Florida Turnpike and return to urbanity, where you share the river with powerboat owners/dickheads who love to create wakes to capsize you. Upon arriving back at the park, feel free to key those boat owners' cars. It's not legal, but it sure is deserved.