Stupid question about Florida(24 Posts)
We are going to Orlando next May. While there I'd like to go into the state parks, swim in springs, hire a canoe and paddle around, etc. husband thinks this would be unsafe with a young child because of alligators and bears. I know there are alligators and bears but could they really get you in a canoe??
There are not bears I don't think. I wouldn't be swimming in springs, they generally have signs up warning of alligators. Perhaps you have somewhere specific in mind that in some way is alligator free? Difficult to guarantee though they even get in people's swimming pools.
I personally wouldn't canoe in alligator waters.
Not sure there are bears.
Alligators are everywhere. You can see them at the side of roads alwhen driving around. And they have been found in people's swimming pools.
It would be daft to go swimming anywhere that isn't specially stated as safe to do so.
And yes I do think they could attack you in a canoe. As in they are able to. Wether they would or not, I don't know. Would depend on how hungry they are I suppose.
But alligators are a real danger in Florida and most people don't realise how real that danger is.
Aligators can grow to huge sizes a canoe wouldnt be more than a minor annoyance to them if they were hungry!
There are signs up all over the place to stay out the water, you often cannot see an aligator until they strike, only their eyes and nostrils are out the water.
You would really take a child on a canoe through aligator territory? Didnt you see the child that was killed at a lake at one of the Disney resorts this year?
Maybe you should go to Gator Land and see aligators up close and personal! They will give you second thoughts about canoeing/swimming in open water when you obviously have absolutely no idea about the dangers.
There are plenty water areas which are safe to have fun in, dont risk your family for some romanticised idea of 'wild experience'.
Plenty of nice safe places to swim in Florida, open stretches of water in National Parks are not included
As already stated there are no bears but alligators are a real and definite threat. You can't just hop into any body of water that takes your fancy
They are quick to attack, hard to spot and often times bigger than a canoe. Designated swimming areas only OP.
There are bears native to Florida (the Florida black bear) but they tend to be confined to the northern most parts of the state. They number around 4000 or so.
I would not risk canoeing (do you have any prior experience of doing this anyway) without doing your own research into the subject beforehand (there is information on the net about paddling canoes in this state that needs to be read carefully).
Thanks for replies, tho I wasn't planning on "hopping into any body of water that takes my fancy". I was planning on going to somewhere like Wekiwa Springs - there's a designated swimming area and they hire out canoes and kayaks and have canoe routes of varying lengths, so hardly wilderness.
Attila yes I have done some research (that's how I know there are bears) and we have lots of experience. Wekiwa Springs is full of families with kids swimming and paddling, but the advice on paddling in Florida was a bit scary.
I was hoping for advice from someone who has been to a park like this, or knows anything about canoeing in Florida.
I think you are being a little optimistic. To swim or canoe in open water in Florida is very risky and you would have to go somewhere that is specifically designated as safe. Any open bit of water could contain alligators. We saw a pond full of them at Cape Kennedy.
Obviously I am not going to take my child swimming in open water where there are alligators. Rereading the op, I can see that I didn't make that clear, but I guess it's so obvious that it didn't occur to me that people would think that.
As I said in previous post Wekiwa Springs has a dedicated area for swimming and canoeing. From what I've heard and read it is very busy with families picnicking, swimming (in the designated swimming hole), hiking, cycling and paddling around. I can't imagine this would be the case if animal attacks were common place. However, if anyone has been to this or a similar park and has any knowledge about this, I'd really appreciate it.
I have no knowledge of that park.
I think what people are getting at is that it's actually very difficult to stop alligators getting into an open body of water.
Disney has an entire team dedicated to get all the larger alligators out of the park. And they missed one, it ended in tragedy. They are extremely difficult to find.
And alligator once got into the magic kingdom.
I go to Florida every other year, and have been for the last 20 years. I wouldn't swim or canoe in open water.
What I would suggest is looking into the park and finding out how they ensure there are no alligators there. See what system them have in place to protect people and See if you can find any past incidents.
Then make your and your dh can make your decision.
After a quick google.
There are gators in every stretch of fresh water in Florida. I wouldn't swim, paddle or even go close to the edge. Look at that poor little boy at the Grand Floridian this year.
Have a great time, if you want an adventure for your family how about an airboat in the Everglades? For swimming try the beautiful coastline.
Take the kid canoeing in the uk and save Orlando for the theme parks!
It sounds cruel to me to take a DC there but try to have an 'adult' holiday.
Thanks Phillipp and Chris. I had already read those attack stories both of the victims were swimming in open water, ignoring do not swim signs. There have never been any alligator sightings, let alone attacks in the designated swimming area at Wekiwa, despite 100s of people swimming there every week. I've not found any reports of an alligator overturning a kayak or canoe and attacking the people inside. From what I have read about alligators this would be very unusual behaviour, but I'm not an expert so am happy to be corrected if there are any alligator experts out there??
Alligators are found all over Florida, as you say including Disney World. We are going to go to the coast too, but there are sharks in the ocean. nothing is ever 100% risk free but I don't think that's a reason to stop doing what you want as long, as you do your research and take precautions.
I'll have a look at the Everglades, it sounds nice tho would Mosquitos be a problem in May?
Beebeeight Are you serious? We've already taken him canoeing in UK and Europe and he loves it, because kids can enjoy things other than theme parks. You sound depressing.
Why did you ask for advice then if you had already decided?
Everyone here has said don't do it.
You are doing it.
Can't see point in asking?
I was asking for advice from people who have been there or to a similar park and have some knowledge/experience about it.
While I appreciate some of the replies were intended to be helpful, I'm not sure why anyone would post advice on a topic they know nothing about - most people didn't even know there were bears in this area, and someone suggested going to Gatorland to learn about alligators
This was obviously not the right place for this question but thanks for the replies that were sensible.
You don't need to go to the parks to know its impossible to stop gators going into any body of open water. Even in parks.
Don't worry I shan't be try and be helpful any longer
You didnt say in your op that you had a place in mind that was 'safe' and a designated canoeing and swimming area. You asked about taking your child out canoeing in "state parks and swimming in springs in Florida". That is totaly different from an organised water sport area.
If you had explained that in the op you would have got different answers.
Am chuckling at the idea that it's cruel to not let kids go to Disney, etc. Hilarious.
Phillippe Previous post wasn't aimed at you. Thank you for you advice, which was very sensible and I will have a closer look at the park
I admit the op wasn't very clear, but we would be canoeing in a state park and swimming in a spring. I think there's a few springs around Florida that are safe to swim? If anyone has been to any I would love some recommendations.
lucky Just to be clear we are going to go to some theme parks too, before anyone calls social services
Jeez, dont go the Gator world. If i ever see another alligator in my life again, it will be too soon.
Oh Look, another frigging alligator!!
Ha ha they do have other animals and reptiles there too you know!
We loved it, plenty of info from the keepers too.
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