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Unique kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding destinations near Lakeland, FL

Get your feet wet with these seven water recreation destinations — all within two hours of Swan City.

Sometimes the best part of being on the water is taking in the scenery. | Photo by @wimmaw

Kayaking, canoeing + paddle boarding are great ways to explore the Lakeland area. These water sports also offer both physical and mental health benefits that extend far beyond a day on the water.

But before we dive in, let’s get a lay of the land (er, water). Check out these unique facts about our region:

  • With 12,106 square miles of water, Florida ranks third in the US for water area.
  • The National Forests in Florida have over 600 lakes and rivers.
  • Florida has the second largest freshwater lake wholly contained within the United States

Next, we should talk about paddling safety, so you don’t capsize:

  • Always wear a PFD, or personal flotation device.
  • Start small. Water, especially flowing water, can be intimidating. First-timers should opt for a small lake, pond, or city canal. You don’t want to get in over your head.
  • Consider a guided adventure from Get Up and Go Kayaking before heading out on your own.
  • For a fully detailed list of dos + don’ts, check out this paddling safety guide.

And finally, here are a few options for getting your feet wet — all within two hours of Lakeland:

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