This year Vincent Payne and Lisa Haskell are co-planning a club canoe/kayak trip to Florida to paddle with the Manatees. The dates for the trip are January 15-18, 2010 which is Friday through Monday of the MLK holiday weekend. We will be staying at Lake Griffin State Park which is fairly close to all rivers and still has several sites left for the holiday weekend. This will give us a bit of a drive each day to get to the rivers (just over an hour each way) but will enable us to remain camped in the same location all three nights which means NO MOVING OF THE CAMPING EQUIPMENT! Cool

The rivers we are looking at paddling are the Ichetucknee River, the Homosassa, and Crystal River.

ManateeThe general plan is to just make it down to Florida and set up camp on Friday. We will probably paddle Crystal River on Saturday and the Homosassa on Sunday. For those who wish, we will plan to paddle the Ichetucknee River on Monday because it is a short paddle and is on the way back to Atlanta. You may join us for any or all kayak trips during the long weekend.


Each person will be responsible for making their own campsite reservation. Since this is a holiday weekend and the campgrounds fill up early, I would recommend reserving a site as soon as possible. You can go to and search for the Lake Griffin State Park campground and make your reservation on line. If you would like to call Reserve America the number is 1 (800) 326-3521. If you have specific questions on the campground itself you can contact the park office at 1 (352) 360-6760.

You might want to consider sharing a site to allow more people to attend. I have been told that we can have up to 4 adults and two tents on a campsite. You will be responsible for your own meals most of the camping trip. Breakfast and dinner at the campground (or eating out if you wish) and a picnic lunch for on the river.

We will have a group dinner on Saturday night at the pavilion located in the park. The pavilion has a six foot family grill and 10 picnic tables for seating. We will provide charcoal for cooking; each person should bring a meat/main course (enough for them) to put on the grill and then bring a side dish or dessert to share with the group. You’ll also want to bring your beverage of choice. Please keep in mind that this is a State Park and alcoholic beverages should be discreet or kept at your private campsite.

You will need to bring your own equipment for this trip or make your own arrangements for renting. You will need a boat and paddle, of course, and you must also wear a PFD when paddling. Florida requires that all paddlers have a whistle on their PFD so please be sure that you have one with you for the trip!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at or call me at (678) 858-2012. Please be aware that I am hard to reach during the first half of the week and sometimes e-mail works better for getting in touch. I work nights and sleep days which can make phone calls difficult. Please let me know once you make a reservation so I can keep an accurate list of those who plan on attending.


Hope to see you with the Manatees!

Lisa Haskell