LIDO KEY, Fla. (FOX 13) - Kayaking is a classic Florida pastime, and there is no shortage of wonderful places to paddle across the Sunshine State. But for a more unique experience, you can head down to Ted Sperling Nature Park in Lido Key to explore the mangrove tunnels.
Mangroves are the thick, winding plants that live along the shoreline and play an important role in the ecosystem. They also create paths and even tunnels that change depending on the tide levels.
Ted Sperling Park has more than a mile and a half of the tunnels, so a guide can help. FOX 13’s Chip Brewster recently hit the water with Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures, one of several who offer a tour.
Guide and owner Will Bither says the mangrove tunnel tour is their most popular offering.
“The tunnels are a great way to show people just how important the mangroves are,” he said as he paddled. “We try to stress that more than anything. We need as many mangroves back as we can get. Because of all the development in Florida since the mid-1900s, we’ve lost a ton of our mangroves in Florida.”
Ted Sperling Park is open every day of the year from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is located just south of St. Armand's Circle.