Since I was already planning to be in Sarasota, I decided to check out some kayaking near Sarasota Bay. I decided to check out Lido Key.
Launching on Lido Key
My trip started at Ted Sperling Park, which has a free kayak launch and a nice boat rinse to clean up after your trip. If you don’t have your own kayak, rentals are available from a number of kayak rental companies in the parking lot. The launch was fairly close to the loading area, but if you have a kayak cart, it would be helpful. The water was calm, as the launch is in a sheltered cove.
First, there were some mangrove tunnels. Having been to Weedon Island and Cockroach Bay a number of times, I wasn’t really that interested in the tunnels. As I came out of the second tunnel, there was a sandbar with a group of kayakers taking a break. I went around the sandbar and saw the channel going out to the gulf side of Lido Key. A lot of boaters anchored here, and some picnic benches were on the beach, so I stopped for lunch.
Paddling the Gulf Side of Lido Key
As I started paddling again, the current was heading out towards the gulf. This made an easy paddle for this part of the trip. I was in a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 (Shop Now) that I picked up recently, so I figured I’d test it out in the surf. Once I was out to the gulf side, I was pretty happy with the Tsunami’s stability in the waves. Where the waves were breaking, I’d guess the surf was 1-2 feet. I went out past the area where the waves were starting to break, and it was a bit calmer there. Wow, the water was beautiful!
Further down the beach, I stopped for a few minutes to swim and cool off. While I enjoyed the break, a storm appeared to be picking up south of me, so I loaded back up. Having to go through the breaking waves, I decided to put my spray skirt on. These waves came over the bow of the boat a few times. My Seals Sea Sprite kept me dry, and my NRS Taj M’Haul stayed firmly in place. Both of these impressed me, and that’s why you’ll find them on our list of best kayak accessories.
Related: See Best Deck Bags including the Taj M’Haul
Finishing up along the beach, I turned into the channel to the north of Lido Key. With the current going out, this was probably the hardest part of the paddle. The waves were choppy, the current was strong, and I was getting tired. Two dolphins played not too far from me, kept me company as I fought through to the other side.
Finally out of the channel, I could see across Sarasota Bay to Sarasota itself. It was pretty. I can only imagine how amazing the water would have been if the sun was out more.
At this point, I was ready to be off the water. Exhausted from fighting the channel, evening approaching, and an hour drive ahead of me, I was headed straight for the kayak launch. I did get a chance to look back and catch a pretty pic of the sky. I bet sunset was beautiful.
Overall, I enjoyed kayaking at Lido Key. The mangrove tunnels and normal paddle trail looked pretty short, but the trip I took definitely wasn’t. According to Google’s estimate, my paddle was just over 7.5 miles! Not bad exercise for a spur of the moment trip. I would definitely kayak here again if I wanted to combine it with a day at the beach around the halfway point.
What trips have you been on lately? Leave a comment with your most recent kayak adventure! Enjoy your time on the water!