More than 200 paddlers from throughout the state are expected to visit Jonathan Dickinson State Park Oct. 24-27 as part of the 2013 Florida Paddlers’ Rendezvous.
The annual event, open to kayakers and canoers of all skill levels, offers daily paddling and sightseeing trips to Peanut Island, the Trapper Nelson hunting camp, the Jupiter Lighthouse and other Palm Beach County landmarks, plus music, entertainment and campfires.
“This is a fun event,” event director Geoff Wilson said. “We try and hold it in different parts of Florida each year. Last year it was up in the Panhandle. The year before that it was in Titusville. Now we’re down in this part of the state.”
The event began in 2002 as the Gathering of Florida Paddlers Clubs. Since 2006, it has been known as the Florida Paddlers’ Rendezvous and has been hosted by different paddling clubs throughout Florida.
This year’s host clubs are Palm Beach Pack & Paddle of West Palm Beach and 27/80 Paddlers of Stuart. The host clubs choose the event location and trip itinerary and create the schedule of events.
Along with the trips, the event includes campfires, potluck dinners, presentations, guest speakers and mingling.
“Trips launch in the morning, and there are activities in the afternoon,” said Wilson, a Lake Worth resident and longtime member of Palm Beach Pack & Paddle. “We have classes, demonstrations and dinner.”
The theme for this year’s event is Paddling in Paradise. On Oct. 26, participants will enjoy a pot luck dinner plus a blender bar and Margaritaville-themed music.
Camping is available at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, 16450 S.E. Federal Highway. Wilson expects a majority of participants to stay there during the four-day event.
Camping sites and cabins must be reserved through Reserve America at 1-800-326-3521 or www.ReserveAmerica.com.
More than 180 paddlers have registered for the event, Wilson said. Spots remain available. Registration fees are $20 for the weekend. Trips must be booked during registration, which is available online at www.paddle2013fl.com.