Kayaking - Canoeing - Rafting - Fishing - Surfing


Peace River from Brownville Park to DeSoto Park, Arcadia, Florida USA
By reading further, you agree to our Terms of Use

Searching for Fossils along the Peace River
Copyright 2011 Closewaters LLC- See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 4/2/2011
  • Location: Arcadia, Florida USA
  • Class: 1; current varies significantly based on the water level
  • Water Level Gauge (We paddled at 4.5 feet of Gauge Height and there was a current of about 1.5 MPH)
  • Distance Paddled: about 9 miles one way
  • Water: tannic river water
  • Wildlife: alligator, Yellow-bellied slider turtles, Great Blue Heron, gorgeous Cypress, Epiphytes
  • Special Regulations: See current rules posted in the park

Entry - Brownville Park north of Arcadia

  • Directions: From Arcadia, take US 17 north about 4 miles to Brownville Street
  • Turn left (west) onto Brownville Street
  • Proceed 1.5 miles to the park entrance on left (south) at 1885 NE Brownville St, Arcadia, FL 34266-2618
    (863) 491-5333
  • Continue to the ramp at the back of the park
  • GPS: N 27.297934° W 081.846474° (from map)
  • Fee: None
  • Description: Cement boat ramp that gets busy on weekend mornings with groups of paddlers leaving all at once with local outfitters
  • Parking: adjacent dirt parking lot, mostly under trees.
  • Facilities: Restrooms, picnic tables, camping.
  • Security: We were told by locals that this is a relatively secure location to leave unattended vehicles.
  • Special Handicap Access: none
  • Shuttle: We dropped boats and passengers at Brownville Park, then left the cars at the Exit in Arcadia. We called in advance to have Zamora's Taxi (863-494-1582) take the drivers back up to Brownville Park to start the day. Zamora's Taxi was reliable and friendly.

Exit - DeSoto Park in Arcadia

  • Directions: From downtown Arcadia, drive west on SR 70 about 1.5 miles to the bridge.
  • Turn north onto NW American Legion Drive, which is also the park entrance, about 1000 feet west of the bridge over the Peace River
  • GPS: N 27.22412° W 081.88197° (actual reading)
  • Fee: None
  • Description: Cement boat ramp and adjacent grass beach. Beware that the ramp was located in an area of high river current (see the turbulent water in front of the rocks in the photo). So we took out on the grassy beach beside the cement ramp, just downstream, where there was less current.
  • Parking: adjacent paved and unpaved parking
  • Facilities: Restrooms, picnic tables under trees
  • Security: We were told by locals that this is a relatively secure location to leave unattended vehicles. This was where we left our vehicles.
  • Special Handicap Access: none


Where We Paddled and What We Saw

We waited for a large group of rental canoes to leave, then launched and quickly left them behind.

The beginning section had wooded banks.

We saw a few small alligators warming themselves in the sun on a beautiful day. Unlike over 20 shy, larger alligators we saw kayaking from Zolfo Springs to Gardner the day before, we were able to get close enough to take a picture before these swam into the water to hide.

Small Alligator Warming in the Sun

Gorgeous Cypress Trees

Kayaking further downstream, we saw some houses and cabins along the shore.

And we paddled along beautiful, large cypress trees hanging with Spanish Moss. Because it was warm, we tried to paddle in the shade of this splendid canopy of trees wherever we could.

We found a nice sandy beach on the outside of a bend in the river to dig for fossils. Though the water level was higher than optimum for finding fossils, we found several shark teeth in just a few minutes of amateur digging. We were using a sand flea scoop to filter the larger pieces from the bottom sediment we washed away in the river.

When we saw the railroad bridge, we knew we just had one more mile (line of sight to travel) or about 2 miles of paddling.


Kayaking farther downstream, we saw many tents pitched by campers along the river with car access behind them. And entering Arcadia, we saw some large homes on the river banks as well.


The Railroad Bridge