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canoeing and kayaking near Tampa, Florida

Moonlight Trips


These unique guided trips are really fun. We will explore 5 miles of the Hillsborough River from Trout Creek Park downstream to Rotary Park (Trip 3). We will start just before sunset and as the darkness takes over, our eyes will adjust allowing us to make out our path by the silhouettes from the moonlight. There is just enough light to make out the shoreline and treetops. Countless frogs, owls, and other creatures of the night often serenade us as we paddle through the “Narrows”. Our trip will take us into Lettuce Lake where we will encounter not only a wide variety of sleeping birds like herons, egrets, and spoonbills, but we will break out the flashlights to shine for ‘gator eyes as well! We will finish our trip with a 45-minute paddle to the take out, and then share in some coffee and desert at a nearby restaurant.

Moonlight trips are an experience all to themselves. If you have not been on one then you have missed out on one of the most amazing ways to experience the Hillsborough River!

  • You must bring 1 flashlight or headlamp per boat (Coast Guard requirement) (headlamps recommended). A light with a red lens cover is a bonus. We recommend one light per person.
  • We recommend that you bring a small cooler with a few soft drinks,snacks, and water for the river trip. (No styrofoam or glass)
  • No children under 12 allowed, sorry.
  • Trip distance - 5 miles.
  • Trip duration - approximately 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
  • Start times will vary for each date due to park closing times and daylight savings time changes. Details will be given when you make your reservation.

Reservations & prepayment are required. Stop by or call 813-986-2067 to make your reservation. We do not take reservations on line. 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.

Rates include all basic paddling gear, seatbacks for canoes, transportation, guide, and coffee / dessert afterward.

Tandem Canoe or Kayak $70.00
Solo Kayak $60.00
3rd Passenger in canoe $25.00

  • Prices do not include park's $2.00 per car parking fee.
  • Prices do not include 7% sales tax.
  • Rates subject to change without notice.
  • Major credit cards accepted.
  • Guide, shuttle fee, paddles, life vests, seatbacks, river map, and coffee/dessert afterward are included in moonlight trip rates.
  • Reservations and prepayment required.. Please call 813-986-2067 to reserve.

Dates for 2011

October 8
November 5
December 10

Dates for 2012

January 7
February 4
March 3
April 7

We require a minimum # of 4 boats to run the trip.

Refunds will not be offered because YOU were late and missed the bus to the park. We preset canoes at the launch and have staff working a 16-18 hour day to run these trips. We staff according to prepaid reservations, so please be on time!

Moonlight Paddle
by Jean Faulk

Paddling along mother earth's womb with the
Shimmering glow of the night star lighting the path,
My spirit is filled with the warm peace of the closing day.
As the moon drifts behind a lingering cloud,
My eyes no longer see the way and my other senses are heightened :
My lips and tongue embrace the flavor of the evening breeze;
My ears reach out to sense each nearby rustle on the riverbank;
My nostrils can almost smell the earth cooling in the rising dew;
And my skin swells to encompass the void and touch the stars.
As the cloud passes and the light returns, I regain my human form
But a sprinkling of dust from the universe has attached itself to my soul
And I see more than the path.


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Canoe Escape, Inc.
Information and Reservations (strongly suggested!!)

e-mail: info@canoeescape.com