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The Hidden Coast Paddling Festival has gotten to be such a celebrated event on the Gulf Coast – paddlers have already been registering for the October festival. After the town of Suwannee made a smashing success of the 2012 Hidden Coast Paddling Festival everyone wants in.
Festival planners and local paddling enthusiasts themselves hope to bring friendly folks and a flotilla of kayaks to the Old Florida fishing village. They welcome paddlers to the culturally and environmentally rich paddling venues of historic Cedar Key and the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge surrounding it.
This year, paddlers venture into the Refuge islands in the Gulf and up the Waccasassa River, Oct. 4-6. Registrants have their choice of 10 paddles a day led by Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission Fisheries experts, FL Master Naturalist Instructors, Rangers and long-time paddlers. Attendees will be treated to socials, a delicious dinner, superlative speakers and great gifts like a subscription to a paddling magazine from proud sponsors, Rapidmedia, an event T-shirt, and memorabilia to take home.
On Sunday, paddlers get the exclusive opportunity for brunch on Atsena Otie beach and a tour of the Cedar Keys Light Station, normally closed to the public. Evening programs (4-6 p.m.), feature golf cart tours of the historic district, walking tours, an archaeology presentation and more topics of interest.