Welcome to Canoe Escapes
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canoeing and kayaking near Tampa, Florida

Our Biography
The Beautiful Hillsborough RiverCanoe Escape was founded in 1991 by the Faulk family (Joe, Jean, and Brian) who combined a love of nature and the outdoors with Joe's 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry to create a full-service outfitting company, offering environmentally-friendly, recreational paddling experiences on the Hillsborough River in close proximity to the Tampa Bay area's large population base.

Approximately 30 environmentally-sensitive miles along the Hillsborough River are included in Canoe Escape's offerings. An array of developed private and public park areas (including the Wilderness Park System [4 sites], Lettuce Lake Park, and Rotary Park) provide picnic and restroom facilities along the way. Downstream canoe trips are available for two hours up to a full day.

Canoe Escape's philosophy is that a canoe or kayak is the ideal vehicle to observe wildlife and enjoy the peace and serenity the natural Florida offers. So paddlers can enjoy nature's symphony, no radios are allowed on any Canoe Escape. The trained staff is happy to give paddling pointers to those who have never canoed, as well as those who just need a refresher on the "J" stroke.

In 1992 Canoe Escape initiated an interpretive guided trip program in response to requests from Tampa Bay area resorts and destination management companies for their incentive group travel clients.

Canoe Escape's paddling opportunities include self-guided, downstream trips, hourly rentals, guided trips: Nature Interpretive Guided Trips and Nature Reveals God [coming soon], and specialty trips: Moonlight Trips and 17 Runs Trips along the Hillsborough River. Local residents as well as national and international visitors of all ages enjoy paddling with Canoe Escape. The diversity of the Hillsborough allows paddlers to experience a variety of ecosystems including: a quiet-water section for wildlife observation through a tannin-stained, Spanish moss-draped cypress swamp; an "Indiana Jones" trip through the untamed 17 Runs Swamp; and moonlight trips (October through April). Canoe Escape provides quality canoes and kayaks that are quiet, stable, roomy, and comfortable for their rentals.

Not only is canoeing and kayaking a great sport, it also offers an excellent way to view wildlife, do photography, fish, get exercise, socialize, instill teamwork, enjoy peace and serenity, reduce stress, and rediscover man's connection to the planet.

In 2011 after 20 years of showcasing the wonders of the Hillsborough River to the world Canoe Escape relocated into John B. Sargeant Park the put in for its most popular trip. As a result of this opportunity, Canoe Escape is able to offer hourly rentals and has begun planning to implement its new program "Nature Reveals God" developed by one of Canoe Escape's guides, Phil Evans.

Using facts about the characteristics of God's creation, parables, and scripture, this new program is designed to expose everybody to the world that GOD has created and what His creation can show and tell us about how we live our lives.

Job 12:7-10 says: "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

Canoe Escape is actively involved in promoting the Tampa Bay area. The successful growth rate of the company can be attributed to Canoe Escape's own marketing as well as its joint marketing efforts with the following:

Tampa Bay & Company - (www.visittampabay.com) - The Tampa Bay area's convention and visitor's association. Active membership since 1991. Canoe Escape is an added feature to the growing list of the Bay area's attractions and offers that "green" experience for the eco-traveler. Joe is a past board member.

Visit Florida (www.visitflorida.com) - Canoe Escape is a founding partner of Florida's public/private partership for tourism promotion.

Local affiliations - Good working relationships and cross-promotion of state and county parks, private campgrounds, hotels, and others.

Canoe Escape is actively involved with promoting paddlesports and is a member of the following:

The Florida Professional Paddlesports Association (FPPA) (www.paddleflausa.com) - FPPA is the not-for-profit trade association of paddlesports businesses in Florida. It is dedicated to the preservation of the vast recreational water resources available throughout the Sunshine State; to the education of the limited and fragile condition of our wetland environment and the need to protect it for future generations; and to recreational opportunities by providing a full array of paddling possibilities for both the novice and experienced paddler. Joe is a past-president of FPPA. Joe and Jean served as the membership committee for 10 years and brochure committee for five years.

The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) (www.propaddle.com) - PPA is a not-for-profit trade association of paddlesports businesses worldwide. Jean is a past Southeastern Regional Director.

Canoe Escape is committed to the protection and preservation of the Hillsborough River. River clean-ups are performed on a regular basis in order to put the best possible "face" on the resource and to keep that once in a lifetime photograph from being spoiled by trash.

Canoe Escape was chosen as The Best River Rental in 1996 and the Best Canoe Outfitter in 1997 by "Weekly Planet" readers in their Best of the Bay surveys.

The Faulks

The Faulks' story has been featured on "The Good Life", a Scott Craig Production, airing on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV).

The FaulksBrian FaulkJoe is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry where he served as controller, corporate controller, general manager, and regional vice-president for a Florida-based hotel franchise group and hotel management company. His past accomplishments include helping found the Central Florida Hospitality Accountants' Association and past-president of the Tampa Hotel/Motel Association.

Since co-founding Canoe Escape in 1991, Joe also co-founded Tampa Outdoor Adventures (a marketing cooperative); served a term as President of the Florida Professional Paddlesports Association; was the state coordinator for the Professional Paddlesports Association; and serveed on the Board of Directors of the Tampa/Hillsborough Convention and Visitors' Association (now Tampa Bay & Company).

Joe's hobbies are paddling, birding, and photography.

Jean has a diverse background. She has been a homemaker, an executive secretary, and founded her own typing service business. Since co-founding Canoe Escape, Jean served on the Hillsborough River Greenways' Task Force (now the Hillsborough River Watershed Alliance); was a former Florida Recreational Trails Council Member; was an invited participant in the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Hillsborough River Watershed Management Plan process; was a co-chair of the Florida Professional Paddlesports Association membership committee; and was a Southeastern Regional Director of the Professional Paddlesports Association.

Brian was an integral part of Canoe Escape for 20 years. He retains his position as an officer in the company and serves as a consultant.

Canoe/Kayak Paddling InfoSelf-Guided, Downstream River Trips Hourly RentalsCanoe/Kayak OwnersRates
Guided TripsNature Interpretive Nature Reveals God (coming soon)
Special EventsMoonlight Trips17 RunsOther
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Canoe Escape, Inc.
Information and Reservations (strongly suggested!!)

e-mail: info@canoeescape.com