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  • Writer's pictureChris A.

Tunneling on Lido Key

Lido Key provides some of the best kayaking (and SUP) in the state of Florida and the mangrove tunnels at Ted Sperling Park are the the top attraction. Carved through the mangroves years ago to help drain the swamp like water during the development of Lido Key in the 1920's, the tunnels provide a unique kayaking experience. The overall route through the mangroves on the map below is approximately 1.7 miles and takes you through three tunnels of varying length.


Along the way you'll see lots of wildlife, some jumping out of the water, and what a slice of old Florida must have looked like to the original explorers. Be careful of the little crabs on the mangroves and keep your eyes peeled for small starfish on the last tunnel. Brushy Bayou and Big Grassy Lagoon almost always have mullet jumping out the water.

The 1.7 mile route takes you through mangrove tunnels and bayous.  Along the way you see fish jumping out of the water, aquatic birds, starfish and maybe a manatee.
Mangrove Tunnel Route on Lido Key, Florida

You can bring your own kayak to the park or rent one from the many vendors that operate at the park. The vendors rent equipment directly and also do guided tours in the morning and the afternoon. The guides are all quite knowledgeable. Most tours will last about 3 hours and take you through the mangrove tunnels and around Otter Key or up the nearby canals with million dollar waterfront homes.


Parking can be an issue on peak days like Saturday or Sunday and the best time to go is in the morning when it's generally cooler. At the park there's restrooms, covered picnic areas and a place to wash down your kayak afterward. Say hello officer Pete if you see him!


Check out the pictures of the park and the videos of the tunnels below.



Enjoy your day and be safe!

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