FLORIDA KEYS — Beginners, avid paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for personalized kayaking and camping expeditions in the Keys can now paddle with the people who quite literally wrote the book about it.
For years, husband-and-wife writing team Bill and Mary Burnham have chronicled their outdoor travel adventures. Recently their award-winning chart book, “The Florida Keys Paddling Atlas,” spurred the creation of a seasonal series of customized kayaking trips.
Two-night trips include a Seven Mile Bridge expedition, to be offered every weekend from late January through the end of March. Considered an easy introduction to kayak camping, the trip is ideal for couples and families (two to six people maximum). Its highlights include paddling beneath Marathon’s famed Seven Mile Bridge, one of the world’s great engineering marvels, as well as exploring the waters of Pigeon Key and No Name Key.
Lower Keys backcountry trips (two to five days) are customized for groups of up to six with a schedule that fits the group’s needs, experience and appetite for exploring. The first trip begins Tuesday, Jan. 26, and the excursions are offered weekly through March.
During an eight-night, nine-day “Paddie to Paradise” from Key Largo to Key West, adventurers test their endurance and limits, paddling up to 17 miles per day and camping each night. This signature excursion is to be offered Feb. 9-17 and March 12-20. The trip is limited to 10 people.
Cost ranges from $450 per person for two-night trips to $1,350 for eight-night trips. Fees include boats, camping gear, guide and shuttle services, a full menu of camp meals and orientation on the camping system, as well as instruction and a skills assessment with a preparatory kayaking session.
Trips are expected to fill quickly, and a minimum of three days’ to one week’s notice is required. Explore scheduled trips and complete details at www.BurnhamGuides.com or call Bill and Mary Burnham at 305-240-3298.
For more information an activities and adventures throughout the Florida Keys, visit the Keys’ official Web site at www.fla-keys.com.