Paddle Manatee

Image Paddle Manatee

Paddle Manatee: A Guide to Area Canoe and Kayak Trails is designed to help guide paddlers throughout Manatee County's waters. Thanks to the tireless efforts by the Manatee County Citizen Trail Committee (CTC), the guide also describes local history, camping opportunities, and private launch opportunities, area wildlife, and provides paddler safety information and a resource directory. This guide is a beautiful full-color reference that features over 45 pages of information!

The trails all connect to a 75 mile (approximate) paddle trail system. Detailed maps of seven different sections of the trail are included, along with locations of launch points, boat ramps, amenities, parks, preserves, and points of interest. The guide features GPS coordinates for all sites and also includes "short trip" selections to help readers plan their trip.


Please note, the paddle trail markers mentioned in the Paddle Manatee Guide are no longer in place. Please plan your trip accordingly. We recommend utilizing the maps in the guide as well as GPS and leaving a trip plan on the dashboard of your vehicle.


History of the Paddle Manatee Guide

Image History of the Paddle Manatee Guide
In August 2000, Manatee County was awarded a grant from the Florida Department of Community Affairs, Florida Coastal Management Program, for the development of the Manatee County Blueways Program.  The concept of the project is to develop a series of marked, connected canoe and kayak trails throughout the waterways of Manatee County.  Additional funding sources included a grant from the West Coast Inland Navigational District (WCIND)
  • Guide published 2002
  • Markers installed May 2003
  • 2002 Outstanding Innovation Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association
  • 2002 Award of Excellence from the Suncoast Section of the American Planning Association
  • Nominated for national award through the 2002 National Trails Symposium
  • Article that appeared in the Bradenton Herald in May 2003
  • Article that appeared in Weekly Planet in May 2003 
  • Paddle Manatee Article   - Article that appeared in Planning Magazine in October 2003.
  • Series of blueways articles that also mentioned Paddle Manatee in The Tampa Tribune in November 2004
  • Project recognized by International City Management Association's Ideas in Action: A Guide to Local Government Innovation, Summer 2004 edition.
  • Article  that appeared in The Orlando Sentinel touting Paddle Manatee in February 2005.
  • Project to create 2nd edition of Guide started by Citizen's Trail Committee in January 2005.
  • Article that appeared in the Spring 2005 edition of Bay Soundings.
  • Article that appeared in April 2005 Naples Daily News about circumnavigational paddle trail