1. Lofton Creek
The most popular kayak excursion in the Amelia Island region is Lofton Creek. Lofton Stream is a peaceful, black water creek with magnificent scenery and numerous plant and animal located in Yulee, Florida, only minutes off the island on SR200. Several woodpecker species, as well as hawks, owls, and hundreds of other unique bird species, call this place home. Lofton Creek is also teeming with turtles, and we’ve even seen newborn alligators on our morning paddles.
Lofton Creek has a gentle stream and is the only kayak excursion on Amelia Island that offers some shade on hot days. Kayaking on Lofton Creek is enjoyable and soothing for people of all ages and levels of skill. Lofton Creek is the excursion for you if you’ve never kayaked before – or if you’ve never kayaked in this region before. This is also the only kayak tour suited for little children in the region.
2. Egans Creek
Egans Creek is a salt marsh paddle that is also Amelia Island’s sole genuinely public paddle. This kayak journey begins at the Dee Dee Bartels North End boat launch on Amelia Island and continues up the Amelia River and into Egans Creek, where paddlers will be treated to beautiful vistas from a unique vantage point. The lighthouse, cottages, and sailboats along the creek offer intriguing views and a terrific background for a day on the water, and the coastal bird life is rich.
On windy days, portions of this paddle may get a little rough, so if the wind is anticipated to be 15 mph or higher, we’ll switch this excursion to Lofton Creek. Kayak outings to Egans Creek and Cumberland Island are subject to tides and are not always accessible.
3. Island of Cumberland
Kayaking from Amelia Island to Cumberland Island is enjoyable, picturesque, and possibly thrilling. The Dee Dee Bartels North End boat ramp is situated where the Amelia River meets the Cumberland Sound, and both the Egans Creek paddle and the Cumberland Island cruise depart from there. This is a popular boat ramp with a lot of boat activity, including Coast Guard and Law Enforcement boats. When I was attempting to launch a sea kayak at this ramp without my spray skirt entirely sealed, I was slammed by a tremendous wake from a passing ship.
All tours embarking from this point should utilize transitional or sea kayaks with at least two bulkheads and, preferably, some form of splash deck or spray skirt due to the condition of the water. Failure to employ the appropriate equipment might result in capsize, injury, or death. Make sure your outfitter has the proper gear (if they don’t, you’re with the incorrect outfitter)!
Be mindful about safety
The typical tidal range between the Cumberland Island and Amelia Island region is roughly 8 feet, which surprises most tourists. The amount of water that comes in from the Atlantic Ocean in a 6-hour period is incredible, and the rise and fall of so much water generates powerful tidal currents that most kayakers can’t paddle against. In a few of minutes, a little breeze may generate surface conditions that are unmanageable for most paddlers.
Lofton Creek is the only one of these excursions that you may safely conduct on your own (or with another outfitter) unless you are an intermediate kayaker with the necessary equipment. Beginners and recreational kayaks should not launch from the Dee Dee Bartels North End boat ramp. There are at least two other Amelia Island Kayak outfitters that launch from that boat ramp, but neither has the necessary equipment, training, or experience to guide guests in that water – and both use recreational kayaks (against the manufacturer’s recommendations) in what we consider legitimate Sea Kayaking conditions.
At least one of them (Amelia Adventures) has taken little children out in recreational kayaks in the Cumberland Sound, and at least one adult client has capsized in the Cumberland Sound and had to be rescued after swimming to shore. The Cumberland Sound is a Level 3 Coastal Kayaking area that is not recommended for novices. When picking a kayak excursion – and outfitter – do your research and make an informed and safe selection.
Other things that you can do during the stay
- Take a paddle adventure
The tranquil waters of the Amelia Island salt flats are ideal for both novices and expert paddlers, with white herons, herons, ibises, and a variety of colorful fish can be seen. On two-hour guided tours, Amelia Island Kayak Excursions brings you to some of the nicest spots in the region, while those wanting for a full day of adventure may sign up for the 5-6-hour river stakes and night walks. Lofton Creek is a short drive from Amelia Island, where you may spend a day in nature beneath the lush shadow of gigantic cypress trees.
- Enjoy a meal at the Salt restaurant
The award-winning Salt restaurant serves a delectable menu of fresh modern American cuisine. It is one of just three AAA 5 star restaurants in the whole state of Florida, and one of only 51 AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire United States. It is located on The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. The kitchen here will blow your mind; the inventive and delectable presentations are stunning, and the “Dine with the Chef” experience enables you to dine at the chef’s table in the kitchen.
- Visit the Omni Amelia Island
Visit Omni Amelia Island Plantation (nearby hotels) The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a lovely resort with three championship golf courses, making it a perfect getaway for golf aficionados. Fairways have a rich green tone and are filled with vivid flower displays and tall ancient oak trees, while courses have a blend of coastal dunes, pine woods, and gorgeous wetlands. The Oak Marsh course provides a test for golfers of all abilities, while Ocean Links has ocean vistas and Long Point is surrounded by lush marshes and stunning sand dunes.
- Visit Talbot Island State Park
Little Talbot Island State Park has more than five miles of natural shoreline and is one of Florida’s few remaining unspool barrier islands. Visit the ossuary to witness the rare collection of submerged trees, or go hiking, surfing, or fishing. Wildlife aficionados may also get a glimpse of a river otter or marsh rabbit in the spacious pavilions, which are ideal for a beach picnic.
- Visit the Marlin and Barrel Distillery
You may try some of Marlin and Barrel Distillery’s unique products and learn how Venture Vodka and Lightweight Rum for Pads are manufactured. They also create a hand-zested grapefruit and orange liqueur, a Smoked Pepper Vodka suitable for a Bloody Mary, and a somewhat sweet Vanilla Bean Espresso Rum. We suggest taking a bottle home as a keepsake after the tour and tasting so you may make the famed Bandera Espanola, a rum cocktail served in the Palace Saloon.
Now you are aware about Amelia Island and other great things to do. You can come up with a plan based on this and get the best experiences coming on your way.