Marineland Dolphin Conservation Center- St Augustine, FL
In our continuing effort to provide the best eco-educational kayaking experiences in Northeast Florida, Ripple Effect Ecotours has now partnered with Marineland and the University of Florida's Whitney Lab. This new partnership combines an incredible foundation in reaserch, education, conservation, and natural interpretation with unique access to the southern boundary of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM-NERR). This is the perfect central location to explore the Jordon and Mellon Island Sites that are part of Faver-Dykes State Park, The Princess Place Preseve, and the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve. This biologically rich area has been described as "the cornerstone behind the nomination of the Matanzas River as the 25th National Estuarine Research Reserve of the United States". This is where the Matanzas Inlet, one of the only natural inlets on the east coast of Florida, collides with one of the most pristine, undeveloped streams in Florida, The Pellicer Creek. We are excited to offer comprehensive ecological and cultural kayak tours in this beautiful coastal system. Tours are $55 per person and include admission into Georgia Aquarium's Marineland Dolphin Adventure and guided kayak tour with our University of Florida Master Naturalist Instructors! Don't miss this opportunity to visit the dolphins of Marineland and also the chance to witness their natural habitat in the Matanzas River. All from the low-impact, unique perspective of a kayak!
Raising the standard for ethical and sustainable ecotourism, Ripple Effect Ecotours, now offers an outdoor classroom experience in our new boat, the "Ripple Effect 1". This very capable vessel exceeds all expectations of what type of vessel can be used to traverse the very sensitive and productive coastal habitats here in Northeast Florida. Powered by an engine that actually runs on recycled vegetable oil collected from nearby restaurants, the "Ripple Effect 1" utilizes a sustainable, renewable, and recycled fuel source that creates a 50% reduction in carbon emissions. And, yes, the exhaust smells like a restaurant so don't come hungry! Sensitive habits frequented by marine mammals require extra care to be taken by ecotour boat operators and the "Ripple Effect 1" utilizes water-jet propulsion and with no exposed propeller providing the ultimate in safety for both our guests and the very healthy population of marine mammals that thrive here! Join Ripple Effect Ecotours for an incredible experience with our USCG captains and Florida Master Naturalist Instructors on this unique eco-educational exploration. The Cost is $50 for adults and $40 for kids 15 and under includes free passes to the Marineland Dolphin Adventure where the educational experience continues!
Guana River Sunset Kayak Tours
Guana River Sunset- GTM NERR with glowing "Firefly" Kayaks
Come and experience the Ripple Effect - a natural exploration of the pristine waters of the Guana River in an extraordinary ambient twilight setting of the sun over the Guana River. Bald Eagles and many other estuary dependent species salute the sunset over the Guana River on this two-hour exploration of the GTM Research Reserve. The stability of our tandem touring kayaks make the perfect viewing platform to relax, reflect and enjoy these wonders of nature. Enjoy a serene sensation only attainable in a kayak. No experience required. This is Real Florida nature from a unique perspective.
Cost: $55 per person includes all kayaking equipment.
Who: Appropriate for ages 6 and up.
Duration: 2 hours
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Guana River Dam 450 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Kayaks launch from the dam at the GTM NERR. The Entrance is next to the “Gate” gas station on A1A and there is a sign for the GTM NERR. Take Guana River Road straight to the dam entrance that has the arm gate to enter and you will need to pay 3 dollars to enter. Restrooms are available at the dam. Parking is available at the dam and we will see you there. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time.
Located south of Jacksonville Beaches and north of down town St. Augustine, this location has convenient access along A1A.
Driving south from Jacksonville beaches and Ponte Vedra on A1A the entrance is 10 miles from Micklers Road. Turn right into the GTM NERR entrance, the ocean will be on your left. Take Guana River Road, entrance road, straight to the the dam entrance.
Driving north from down town St. Augustine on A1A the entrance is 7 miles from Vilano Bridge. Turn left into the GTM NERR entrance, the ocean will be on your right. Take Guana River Road, entrance road, straight to the dam entrance.
Note: Participants will have to pay $3 per vehicle for parking on the dam for the sunset tours! Also, the Environmental Education Center closes at 4 pm, please plan accordingly if you wish to visit during operating hours.
Deep Creek Conservation Area
Deep Creek Conservation Area
Paddle this pristine hardwood floodplain that meanders through 4500 acres of real Florida swamp. This is the perfect winter location to enjoy protection from the strong coastal breezes while your naturalist guide introduces you to this incredibly diverse landscape of cypress, sweet gum, and tupelo trees with an abundance of wild flowers. No wind, no bugs, and a completely relaxing paddle make this a perfect paddling destination throughout the winter months and is perfect for novice to experienced paddlers. No experience required.
Directions: The launch for Deep Creek is on the east side of State Road 207 just passed the the intersection of State Road 206.
From St. Augustine: Heading west out of St. Augustine on State Rd. 207 for about 12 miles, look for St. Rd. 206 entering on the left. Go across the bridge over Deep Creek and make a u-turn heading back east across the same bridge. Take a right on the little dirt road just before you get back to 206 and you will run right into the kayak launch under the bridge. There are no restroom facilities here so make any necessary stops on the way to the kayak tour. Please be at the kayak launch 15 minutes prior to tour time. Click here for a map!
From Jacksonville: Take the State Road 207 off of I-95 South and take a right heading west on 207 for 10 miles. Watch for St. Rd. 206 entering on the left. Go across the bridge over Deep Creek and make a u-turn heading back east across the same bridge. Take a right on the little dirt road just before you get back to 206 and you will run right into the kayak launch under the bridge. There are no restroom facilities here so make any necessary stops on the way to the kayak tour. Please be at the kayak launch 15 minutes prior to tour time. Click here for a map!
The GTM Reserve Kayaking Tours at Guana River near Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville, FL
Voted Best Place to Kayak by Folio Weekly for 2007, 2008 and 2009!
"Located just off A1A south of Ponte Vedra Beach, Guana remains an environmental treasure of epic proportion."
Formerly known as Guana River State Park, the GTM NERR is one of twenty-eight National Estuarine Research Reserves in the United States. This designation assures one of the best natural systems in the country. The Friends of the GTM NERR and Ripple Effect Ecotours have partnered to offer extensive eco-educational opportunities exploring the ecological diversity of the GTM NERR. The coastal estuary offers incredible views of nesting bald eagles, possible encounters with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin and the West Indian Manatee, as well as many other documented species. Most of all this area provides a real glimpse into what real Florida has to offer in abundance of shear beauty nestled between civilization to the north and south. Our touring kayaks are the perfect vehicle for exploring one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet in a low impact and environmentally friendly way leaving behind only Ripples!
Kayak Tours offered at Guana:
Guana River Estuary
Family Kayak Tours for ages 6 and up!
Lake Guana from the dam
6-Mile Landing Lake Guana
Indians of the Estuary
The Zen Kayak Tour
Sunset Tours every weekend
Full Moon Kayak Tours
Kayak Instructional Classes
Night Sky Astronomy Kayak Tour
Faver-Dykes State Park Guided Kayaking Tour near Jacksonville and St Augustine, FL
Faver-Dykes State Park is a beautiful park that has gone undiscovered by much of the general public. As a state canoe trail, Pellicer Creek is surely one of the most beautiful creek systems in northeast Florida. Faver-Dykes State Park is made up of a diverse landscape with a hardwood forest bordering the tidal marshes along Pellicer Creek. Pellicer Creek is an"OFW"(Outstanding Florida Waterway) nestled in 25,000 contiguous acres of pristine natural Florida and is fed by the Matanzas Inlet, one of the only natural inlets on the east coast of Florida. Possible interactions may include dolphin, river otters, manatee, and an abundance of beautiful birds.
Within the Park are pinelands, hammocks, swamps, bayheads, and marshes. This variety of plant communities accounts for the abundant wildlife here. The peaceful and tranquil setting of this biologically rich area offers the unhurried visitor an opportunity to relax, reflect, explore, discover and wonder. Enjoy beautiful panoramas of the Princess Place Preserve. On this kayak tour, you will experience the inhabitants of the creek, the vegetation and the array of different water fowl that flock here. We will also enjoy unobstructed views of one of the largest Bald Eagle nests in North Florida. This is real Florida from the unique perspective of a kayak. The tour fee includes entry to the park, so please feel free to explore the park even further after the tour is over. Space is limited, so sign up early to ensure your spot. $55 per person (includes all kayaking equipment, guide service, and park entry fee)
Directions to Faver-Dykes State Park 1000 Faver-Dykes Road St. Augustine, Florida 32086
The park is about 15 miles south of St. Augustine directly off of US1 on Faver-Dykes Road. There is a small sign for Faver-Dykes State Park. Watch for the sign and turn in between the two fruit stand gas stations.
Park entrance is 1.5 miles from US1 on Faver-Dykes Road, drive all the way down until you reach the entrance to Faver-Dykes State Park. The price for the tour includes your admission into the park so just drive in and follow the signs to the boat ramp. Restrooms are available at the boat ramp. Please be at the boat ramp 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
From I-95 north or south take exit #298 which is US 1. Go north on US 1 for 300 yards and turn right on Faver-Dykes Road.
From US 1 north turn right onto Faver-Dykes Road.
From US1 south turn left onto Faver-Dykes Road.
Corporate Team Building - Indians of the Estuary at Marineland or Guana River(GTM NERR)
Relax, Refresh, Recharge and take a trip back in time to find that natural balance that drives us all!
It is not your usual "fall back into your coworkers arms to gain trust or paddle around some orange cones" kind of program. We call it the "Indians of the Estuary". The Timucuan people were in this area for 5000 years before us and we use their ways to inspire people and to bring together groups in a natural outdoor classroom. Our team of professional certified naturalists takes groups kayaking and engage them in many different primitive skills that include fire building with a drill and a bow, palm fiber weaving, and throwing of the atl-atl. Emphasis will be placed on small groups working in synchronicity with fellow coworkers to achieve goals to bring about awareness of self and group importance. Participants will easily find new energy in the natural balance that was very much part of the native life here in Northeast Florida. A catered lunch may include many different local delicacies including organic hearts of palm salad and prickly pear sorbet. Most of all, the program is designed to take people far from their perceived realities and breath some positive energy into their daily rigor. We can accommodate groups from 4 to 60 participants. We guarantee that our dedicated staff will provide the finest in natural interpretation. Standard eco-team building programs are also available. All packages include photographs taken by your guides!
Because of our unique partnerships with the best environmental organizations in the area, we offer two exciting destinations for these programs:
1) The GTM-NERR at Guana River in Ponte Vedra near Jacksonville, Florida
Just south of Jacksonville Beach, the Guana River offers the best kept natural area found throughout Northeast Florida. Voted Best Place to Kayak by Folio Weekly for 2007, 2008 and 2009! "Located just off A1A south of Ponte Vedra Beach, Guana remains an environmental treasure of epic proportion." Beautiful lagoons, 11 miles of upland hiking trails, pavilions, and an $8 million dollar environmental educational center make this the ultimate retreat from the hustle-bustle of big city! Because we are partners with the Friends of the GTM NERR, all participants will receive free admission into the Environmental Educational Center and a percentage of all proceeds from the eco-team building event goes towards funding the research, education, and stewardship of the GTM NERR!
2) The Marineland Dolphin Conservation Center
Located just south of St. Augustine Beach, Marineland is surrounded by 35,000 contiguous acres of pristine Florida coastal habitat that is only accessible by kayak! This natural estuary combines many islands with the tidal flow from the Matanzas Inlet, the only natural inlet on the east coast of Florida! An abundant population of Atlantic Bottlesnose Dolphin frequent this area and amaze and delight all that venture into their natural habitat. The islands make for a great stopover for team building and a catered lunch. An interpretive walk on one of the only rocky beaches in Florida or through the River to the Sea Preserve can be a great addition to any team building package. And, of course, all participants will receive complementary passes to the Marineland Dolphin Conservation Center to witness this incredibly beautiful facility with 13 dolphins and an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean!
Anastasia State Park Kayak Tours: Come explore the coastal estuary from the St. Augustine Lighthouse Park with the guides from Ripple Effect Ecotours that have been leading trips through Anastasia State Park for over 11 years!
Salt Run, with it's close proximity to the St. Augustine Inlet, has an abundance of marine life including the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Blue Heron, White and Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks and many other birds fly a short distance to Salt Run from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, which has the largest rookery in North Florida. This serene coastal lagoon is sheltered from the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean only by the majestic white quartz sand dunes. Enjoy only the sounds of the waves and birds just outside of historic downtown St. Augustine. Take a step back almost 500 years and enter the Oldest City via the original natural inlet. On the sunset tours we then watch the sunset over the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse! Reservations required. Cost is $50 per person.
Directions to the St. Augustine Lighthouse Park
442 Ocean Vista Ave
Saint Augustine, FL 32080
All tours for Anastasia State Park will launch from the St. Augustine Lighthouse Park, just across the street from the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
Driving over the Bridge of Lions from downtown St. Augustine, follow Anastasia Blvd. (A1A) and turn left on Red Cox Drive just across the street from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. There is a fire station and a skate park on Red Cox Dr.
Driving north on A1A cross over S.R. 312, and pass the Surf Station on your right. Turn right on Red Cox Dr. There is a fire station and a skate park on Red Cox Dr.
Last land mark is a little sign that says Lighthouse Museum. Then turn right at the Lighthouse and you will see us waiting for you on the beach in between the boat ramp and fishing pier. Please do not park in the lot for the Yacht Club. There is ample parking at the park. Restrooms are available and please be at the launch point 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time.
Fishing Dates are listed below for March and May 2013, please call 904-347-1565 for any questions. Dates and times are listed after the fishing ecotour description.
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Fly Fishing is now available with Ripple Effect Ecotours and Dr. Jimmy Liao.
Join us on a “Fly Fishing Adventure with Dr. Jimmy Liao.” Enjoy the serenity of gliding through the productive tidal creeks of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in search of red drum, sea trout, flounder and jack crevalle. Be part of the scientific research! Trips are catch and release only and data will be taken and logged into our records to track fish movements.
Jimmy started guiding as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University and upon graduation honed his saltwater fly fishing skills while working at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota FL. He then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University studying the biomechanics of how fish swim. He continued his studies at Cornell University on the neurobiology of how fish use their lateral lines. He is an internationally recognized fish biologist and professor at the Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience/ UF Biology department and teaches ichthyology to undergraduates and graduate students (http://www.biology.ufl.edu/people/faculty/jliao.aspx).
Come see why kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in Florida and learn fishing conservation using proper catch and release techniques to minimize impact and to protect our fisheries for future generations. Tours will begin at the Town of Marineland Marina and University of Florida Whitney Marine Laboratory for Marine Bioscience.
Currently, we are running trips for experienced anglers who bring their own fishing equipment.This is a private charter with limited space for two individuals, or groups of three. All participants must have a current Florida Saltwater Fishing License available at www.myfwc.com.Each adventure will include fully equipped fishing kayaks for four hours. The cost is $400 per person with discounts for groups, so bring a friend. Advanced reservations are required please call 904-347-1565:
Fly Fishing Marineland 3/10/13 1pm (Sunday, 10 Mar 2013)
Fly Fishing Marineland 3/15/13 2pm (Friday, 15 Mar 2013)
Fly Fishing Marineland 3/20/13 8am (Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013)
Fly Fishing Marineland 5/11/13 1pm (Saturday, 11 May 2013)
Fly Fishing Marineland 5/16/13 3pm (Thursday, 16 May 2013)
Fly Fishing Marineland 5/26/13 10am (Sunday, 26 May 2013)
Florida Argricultural Museum Pellicer Creek kayak tour near Palm Coast and St. Augustine FL
Our partnership with the Florida Agricultural Museum gives us unique access to the western sections of Pellicer Creek which includes the south fork, Hewlitt Branch, and the north fork, Schoolhouse Creek. Paddle waters seldom seen from the beautiful acreage of the Florida Agricultural Museum. Start with a tractor-pulled wagon ride to the remote access point way up in the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve. Enjoy both history and ecology on this comprehensive tour of one of the best preserved floodplains in all of Florida. A professional kayak guide/naturalist from Ripple Effect Ecotours will interpret the beauty that abounds! A dense canopy offers shade from the sun and protection from the coastal breezes making for a relaxing and beautiful paddle through this classic old floodplain forest. Cypress and Tupelo tower over this pristine meandering stream. $60 per person includes admission into the Agricultural Center, guided tour with the finest kayaking equipment.
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Ripple Effect Ecotours
Town of Marineland Marina
101 Tolstoy Lane
St Augustine, Florida Tel: 904-347-1565 Email us
The Ultimate "Green" Holiday Surprise! Whether it is a kayaking ecotour for the whole family, or an eco-fishing adventure for Dad, Ripple Effect Ecotours gift certificates available with just a click!