We first went on an airboat at Saratoga during one of our first trips to Florida
in about 1994. It was captained by an older guy who was keen to show visitors
the wildlife of the area. A very relaxed trip, the boat was purely a means of
transport over very shallow waters. Having enjoyed that experience, we were keen
to repeat it & in 2004(ish) we went on an airboat ride at Boggy Creek... Not
the same sort of trip at all !!! - That was a "Don't airboats
go fast & make a lot of noise ??" & "By the way, there's a
'gator somewhere over there in the reeds" All over in half-an-hour having
seen the odd alligator with it's fingers in it's ears because of the
noise....Definitely not to be repeated.
We spent quite a while finding the sort of trip we wanted, settling on Cypress Lake, a smaller lake but reputedly with an abundance of wildlife.
Having looked at our maps, we decided in our wisdom not to follow the directions on the website, but take the Florida Turnpike which appeared to cut a large chunk off the journey - not a great idea as, unless you have a Sunpass (toll road card), you can't get off at the right exit & we had to U-turn through a truckstop !!
Anywhichway, eventually found Canoe Creek Road & Cypress Lake down a half-mile dirt track.... This is definitely OFF the 'normal' tourist trail with a backwoods - type cafe selling airboat parts, propellers & an assortment of fish murdering gear as well as food, drink & airboat rides....Strangely, the airboats appeared far newer, far quieter & in better condition than those at Boggy Creek. Had about a half-hour wait 'till our ride, but it was one of those ideal Florida days with not a cloud in the sky and the temp. in the 80's - just the way we like it !!! There are picnic tables, swinging seats & a fair bit of wildlife including the usual kamikaze squirrels. Watched the airboat being prepared (they cleaned the seats) & we traipsed aboard & were issued with earmuffs (you need 'em on airboats !!) before we headed out into the wild blue yonder.....
Yes... that is the edge of the boat & the 'gators were that close !!!
We all enjoyed our trip to Cypress Lake immensely, the diversity of the scenery and the abundance of wildlife made it a memorable day out.
Thanks to Cypress Lake Airboat Tours !!