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Old 01-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
rutgers1
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Hazy memory of canoeing at Fort Wilderness

This memory is kind of hazy, but I remember renting a canoe while staying at Fort Wilderness as a kid.

Do you know if canoes can still be rented at Fort Wilderness' little pond? I recall renting a canoe with my brother when I was young and taking it on a little "trail" that meandered through what seemed like the middle of nowhere to me back then. I remember seeing an armadillo and thinking that an alligator must be around each corner. It was a loop and ended up where we started.

Still available? If so, I'd like to take my sons there this summer.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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I did this as a child, too! You rented the canoes at the bike barn at FW campgrounds. I believe you can still do that although I haven't been to FW in years.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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hey rutgers1,

yes canoeing is still available.

It's not that expensive. You get lifejackets and paddles at the Bike Barn across the pond from the Meadows Trading Post. If you start out to the left, the route goes out of the pond past the pool area, past the 1500 loop to the big canal.

If you turn right, you soon come to a no-pass barrier. If you turn left, you can float along the big canal for a ways. This is the best area to see deer, turkeys, baby gators (very small), turtles, and all kinds of birds.

You come to another canal on the left that will take you back to the Bike Barn by the dog park. If you stay straight you will bump into the gate that controls the canal water flow from Bay Lake.

At this point the CM that rented us our canoe advised us to turn around and come back in the way we came. But we continued on past the dog park and between the loops. This section had large tree trunks in the water that had not been cleared out and required some zig-zagging through but we never had to get out to move through. This part is also shaded. Be careful, though, this section also can be impassable if the water level is low.

But we wanted to do a full circuit and did. It was a nice morning activity before the sun got too high. I think they charge about $10 per 30 minutes but the CMs are generous about rounding time down so it's not a very expensive thing. They also have sit-on-top kayaks for the more gung-ho types in your group.



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Apr 1979 Off-site...................... Jan 2001 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Dec 2007 FW 900 loop (pop-up)...............................Mar 2014 FW 400 Loop (popup)
Apr 1981 FW Creekside Meadow... Jan 2002 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Nov 2009 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Nov 1987 FW 100 Loop(tent) ...... Oct 2003 FW 2000 Loop (tent).........Mar 2011 FW 900/1500 loop (pop-up) to/from KW
Jan 1988 FW 700 Loop (tent).......Jan 2004 FW 2500 Loop (cabin)....... Apr 2011 FW 2000 Loop (pop-up)
May 1988 FW 1200 Loop (tent).... May 2006 FW 900 Loop (pop-up) .... Mar 2012 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Dec 1995 Contemporary.............. Mar 2007 FW 1000 Loop (pop-up).... Apr 2013 FW 100 Loop (pop-up)

plus countless WDW day trips, DL 3X, DLP 2X - TV: 2005 Chevy Suburban - Camper: 2014 Aliner Expedition - Nights Camped: 182
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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Can we bring our own kayaks? Or do you have to rent?

We have kayaks for everyone in our family. Since my DH is big his is a larger model to accommodate him.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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You must rent from Disney, private boats are not allowed.

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNJ View Post
Can we bring our own kayaks? Or do you have to rent?

We have kayaks for everyone in our family. Since my DH is big his is a larger model to accommodate him.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I just looked at the only map I could find online, and I didn't see it connect into a loop. But then again, there is an area that is cut off.

I would love to do this again...........Did you see alligators, or did you just hear that they were there? I remember being told that we wouldn't see any, but from what I hear on these boards, they are everywhere and only the larger more aggressive ones are relocated.

Returning to my hazy memory..........Do you go far out into the woods, or are you pretty close to the main path at all times? I remember thinking that I was lost, lol. In my 12 year old mind, I had left Disney far behind!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rutgers1 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just looked at the only map I could find online, and I didn't see it connect into a loop. But then again, there is an area that is cut off.

I would love to do this again...........Did you see alligators, or did you just hear that they were there? I remember being told that we wouldn't see any, but from what I hear on these boards, they are everywhere and only the larger more aggressive ones are relocated.

Returning to my hazy memory..........Do you go far out into the woods, or are you pretty close to the main path at all times? I remember thinking that I was lost, lol. In my 12 year old mind, I had left Disney far behind!
Let's use this map:

http://www.wdwinfo.com/maps/FWMap.pdf

You start at #6 location in the middle, water down and around by 1500. Then turn left (the canal continues on the drawing behind the "transportation" words. The next left back by the dog park is at #16 location and water back to #6 between loops 500, 600, and 1400. That could be the map you're looking at. You can do a Google map/satellite view and see this big canal along the back.

To be honest, I have canoed twice in recent visits. The first time I saw a baby gator sunning on a log along the bank; the second time I didn't see one. Between 1500 and the dog park that big canal is remote (although both banks are cleared back about 20 feet). You will feel like you are some place else.

As I said the CM may want you to do an out-and-back since the 500-600-1400 portion has the obstructions and shallow bottom.

Have fun!

Bama ED
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Apr 1979 Off-site...................... Jan 2001 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Dec 2007 FW 900 loop (pop-up)...............................Mar 2014 FW 400 Loop (popup)
Apr 1981 FW Creekside Meadow... Jan 2002 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Nov 2009 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Nov 1987 FW 100 Loop(tent) ...... Oct 2003 FW 2000 Loop (tent).........Mar 2011 FW 900/1500 loop (pop-up) to/from KW
Jan 1988 FW 700 Loop (tent).......Jan 2004 FW 2500 Loop (cabin)....... Apr 2011 FW 2000 Loop (pop-up)
May 1988 FW 1200 Loop (tent).... May 2006 FW 900 Loop (pop-up) .... Mar 2012 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Dec 1995 Contemporary.............. Mar 2007 FW 1000 Loop (pop-up).... Apr 2013 FW 100 Loop (pop-up)

plus countless WDW day trips, DL 3X, DLP 2X - TV: 2005 Chevy Suburban - Camper: 2014 Aliner Expedition - Nights Camped: 182
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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$6.50 for 30 minutes
$11.00 for 60 minutes
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Bama Ed,

the kayak your DS is paddling looks so low in the water....just wondering....

(somthing about this is a very dumb Q , espec with kids, but (in those kayaks), do you get wet?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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Bama Ed,

the kayak your DS is paddling looks so low in the water....just wondering....

(somthing about this is a very dumb Q , espec with kids, but (in those kayaks), do you get wet?
If there really are gators in that water, I wouldn't want to be that low!
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
Bama Ed,

the kayak your DS is paddling looks so low in the water....just wondering....

(somthing about this is a very dumb Q , espec with kids, but (in those kayaks), do you get wet?
I haven't kayaked at Disney, but I have a sit on top kayak at home. You do get a little wet. Putting the boat in, and taking it out, I am usually in water up to my knees.

The kayaks have holes in the bottom, so that water can drain, but sometimes water comes up a little as well, and you tend to get some drips and splashes from the paddle. You won't get soaked unless you are want to .

I wear bike shorts and a t shirt to paddle, and if I get a bit wet, I am usually completely dry by the time the kayaks are loaded back onto the car.

Edited to add: My kayak does not sit as low in the water as the one pictured above. Typically the kayaks sit lower in the water the closer you are to the weight limit for them. That is why I asked about bringing our own as I know my DH would exceed the weight limit of any rental kayak Disney would offer. His is 14ft. long and rated to 600lbs, the average kayak is usually rated 225-300lbs. My dh is 6'5" and over 300lbs.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:28 AM   #12
2goofycampers
Sounds like something a camping trip could cure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rutgers1 View Post
If there really are gators in that water, I wouldn't want to be that low!


Don't worry there are just a few little ones. Disney takes them out when they get too big.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
bama_ed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
Bama Ed,

the kayak your DS is paddling looks so low in the water....just wondering....

(somthing about this is a very dumb Q , espec with kids, but (in those kayaks), do you get wet?
Readerbug,

DS17 stand a full 6-1 and comes in at a svelte 225 pounds now and plays one helluva Sousaphone in his high school marching band (i call it a tuba). He is also stubborn like and once he pulled that particular yeller kayak out he refused to consider a different one. Fortunately, he was prepared to get wet.

It's a fun little adventure at the Fort.

Bama ED
__________________
Apr 1979 Off-site...................... Jan 2001 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Dec 2007 FW 900 loop (pop-up)...............................Mar 2014 FW 400 Loop (popup)
Apr 1981 FW Creekside Meadow... Jan 2002 FW 2200 Loop (cabin)........Nov 2009 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Nov 1987 FW 100 Loop(tent) ...... Oct 2003 FW 2000 Loop (tent).........Mar 2011 FW 900/1500 loop (pop-up) to/from KW
Jan 1988 FW 700 Loop (tent).......Jan 2004 FW 2500 Loop (cabin)....... Apr 2011 FW 2000 Loop (pop-up)
May 1988 FW 1200 Loop (tent).... May 2006 FW 900 Loop (pop-up) .... Mar 2012 FW 1500 Loop (pop-up)
Dec 1995 Contemporary.............. Mar 2007 FW 1000 Loop (pop-up).... Apr 2013 FW 100 Loop (pop-up)

plus countless WDW day trips, DL 3X, DLP 2X - TV: 2005 Chevy Suburban - Camper: 2014 Aliner Expedition - Nights Camped: 182
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