Last week, I went with a few friends on a trip down the Peace River in the southwestern part of Florida. The Peace’s source is Peace Creek and Saddle Creek and it empties into Charlotte Harbor after flowing for 106 miles.
We began our trip at Pioneer Park in Zolfo Springs, where we camped the night before embarking and paddled 24 miles down river to Brownsville over the next day and a half.
The Peace is an interesting river because depending on water levels, it can be a very easy river to paddle, or can be quite difficult. For our trip, the water levels were at 5.8 ft according to the USGS water gauge at US- 17 which made for a relatively easy float with nice current. Most obstacles were submerged enough to where they did not cause any navigation hazards and those that were not, were easy to see and maneuver around. Our total paddling time was just over 7 hours excluding breaks over the two days giving us an average speed of about 3.5 mph. over the course of the trip.
Pioneer park was mostly empty of campers while we were there. The grounds of the park were clean, but many of the facilities such as the bathhouse and shower were in poor repair and needed to be cleaned.
We launched around 9:30 in the morning and made our way down river. There was an abundance of wildlife on the shores.
We made our camp about 13 miles down river.
The next morning, we broke camp around 8:30 a.m. and paddled down river another 11 miles.
We ended our trip at Brownsville Park around 11:30 just before a storm rolled in. It was perfect timing.
The Peace River was a great trip. It is a wonderful river if you like to paddle camp and see wildlife. I plan to come back and paddle it during the summer months when the water levels are lower. If you have paddled the Peace, let us know in the comment section, if you would like to join us on future trips, send me an e-mail.
Find your headwaters,