Advance reservations and prepayment required.

Ok, here is the skinny on the 17 Runs. We meet at John B. Sargeant at 8 a.m. (please get here early). Eat your Wheaties that morning, put on your worst shoes, and be ready to get dirty. This trip is not for the faint of heart but you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery and the fact that you will see a part of the river that few ever will. The 17 Runs is the most remote and difficult section of the river and this is a rare chance to explore it. It has been written about in newspapers as well as been the hot topic of discussion around many a paddlers' campfire. It is a big deal to say you have been there. The 17 Runs have always had this special adventurous allure to it. So as a result we are looking forward to helping you explore this remote and untamed section of the Hillsborough.

Once we are signed in and geared up, we will leave for the Hillsborough River State Park. Next we will have a few minutes of paddling basics and have an easy 45-minute paddle to Dead River Park for our last bathroom break. At Dead River we will cover a little bit about how to portage and then spend the next 4-5 hours paddling, portaging and ducking under trees and brush about 4 miles of the river.

Once we leave Dead River we will paddle a short distance and enter the Seventeen Runs. As the river sign says,

“Give up hope all ye who enter here.”

Once we pass the sign, the river will lose its definition and fan out into 17 creeks. We will be getting out on logs, possibly deep mud, dragging and carrying our canoes over as many as 70 fallen trees blocking the path. So, be ready for a very difficult challenge. Wear your worst clothes. Bring another set for your drive home.

We will be paddling canoes only this trip, no kayaks. We are limiting this trip to 10 canoes including the guide. This means that there are basically 19 people going on the trip. So sign up right away if you're interested because once it's booked, you’re out of luck.

We will have a real adventure with plenty of good stories to tell. The trip will take about 5-6 hours from the Hillsborough River State Park to Sargeant Park.The actual number of portages and group dynamics will set the pace. We only move as fast as the last canoe!

Do not be expecting us to haul your canoe over logs. This trip is guided but not pampered. You will be getting out, lifting boats, balancing on trees, getting dirty. There is no whining allowed on this trip. So if you are a couch potato, complainer, or non-adventurous person the 17 Runs is not for you. Both people in the canoe will have a strenuous day. The person in the back will not be able to do all the work. In fact they will possibly have the easier job. No, wait, there is not an easy job on this trip! Also if you have not paddled in years, this trip is not for you. You will need to be proficient with a draw stroke and rudder to have a good experience.


We recommend all items be packed in a small bag, backpack or dry bag. Small bags that can be stowed in the ends of the canoe and are out of the way are easier. Bags should be able to zip, fold securely, and tie to the canoe. (Please no large plastic coolers. We do not recommend a large bulky plastic cooler. In the past it has presented a rather difficult challenge when trying to walk up and down the canoe for a portage.) Bring a short 2’ piece of rope and a long 20’ piece of rope. Bring a good lunch and at least 1 bottle of water per person per hour. A camera in a dry bag. Old sneakers or booties to get dirty/muddy. A hat, bug repellant, and gloves are a good idea. I also recommend a change of clothes for the ride home.

The reward you ask? You will get to see scenery few ever get a chance to see: giant cypress trees half a millennium old, giant ferns lining the bank, and plenty of other beautiful plants, as well as wildlife that you wouldn’t otherwise see on the more traveled sections of the river.

Cost includes: State Park entrance fee, canoe, basic paddling gear, transportation, and guide.

$100.00 + sales tax per boat

Stop by or call 813-986-2067 to make your reservation. Prepayment may be made in person, by mailing us a check, or we can fax a credit card authorization form to you for you to fill out and fax back to us. NEVER email your credit card information as it will not be secure.

We will have an 8 person minimum in order for this trip to run. We do not anticipate any issue with getting 8 people signed up since this trip has not been available for a long time and always booked out when we used to run them.

  • Price does not include Sargeant Park's $2.00 per car parking fee.

  • Price does not include sales tax.

  • Rates subject to change without notice.

  • Major credit cards accepted.

  • Guide, shuttle fee, paddles, and life vests, are included in 17 Runs trip.

  • Reservations and prepayment required.