Nathan Whitt was born on the Fourth of July and 'Independence' is his middle name! He has always enjoyed the best of both outdoor worlds. Growing up between his mother's home in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio and his father's home in the islands of the Florida Keys, he spent his youth snorkeling reefs, fishing, hiking, caving, canoeing, and kayaking. His ever-present passion for the natural world, water flow patterns, and geology has kept him in the pursuit of the form and function of water flow, erosivity, and rock. He graduated from the Ohio State University in 1994 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Watershed Policy and Planning and a minor in Geological Structures.
Nathan formed his first canoe and kayak company, Brush Creek Excursions, in 1995 fresh out of college and began to learn the operational side of the paddlesports industry. Soon realizing the seasonal nature of an outdoor-based business in southern Ohio and facing wildly varying water level issues, he was in search of a more consistent climate and flow levels. Meanwhile, he attended the Paddlesports Industry Association sponsored School for Paddlesports Business two years in a row and in 2007 graduated at the top of his class from the program.
His love of canoeing and kayaking and the experience of cutting his teeth in the paddlesports industry in a challenging climate led him to the springs of central Florida in the late 90's. He had fallen in love with the springs as a child fishing the Rainbow and Silver Springs with his grandfather years before. Discovering the need for shuttle service on two Outstanding Florida Waterways, the Rainbow Spring and the Withlacoochee River, Nathan formed Rainbow Connection Shuttle Service in 2001, after securing the winning bid on a shuttle service contract with Marion County, Florida Parks. Within just a few years, he changed the company name to Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak and worked to increase his fleet. His company is located at the end of the Rainbow Spring on the Withlacoochee River and is currently in its 18th season offering canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals on the Spring and River.
Never letting the grass grow under his feet, Nathan also served as Mayor of the City of Dunnellon, Florida from 2012 through 2016, amid a very turbulent time in the cities' history. After working with the administration to bring the city out of financial emergency, he turned his sites on upgrading infrastructure, connecting trails, and attracting new businesses to the city including Comfort Suites and Publix. Nathan is currently championing many public works projects in Florida, Ohio, and Kentucky. A few projects include the game-changing central Florida Whitewater park, the much-anticipated Heart of Florida multi-use trail connections statewide, and leading the charge to rebuild a historic pioneer fort, Fort Massie, on the Ohio River.
He is also an accomplished musician who started writing his first songs on the piano at the age of five, then learning to write on guitar in his teens. After signing with an independent record label, he released his first full-length album 'Pictures of Memories' in 1994. His discography continues with 'Night and Day' in 1995, 'Amorphous Mass' in 1998, 'The Tale' in 2001, 'Combustible' in 2005, 'Blue Run' in 2007, 'Anticipation' in 2011 and his most recent 'Someday Isle' in 2017 which broke the iTunes top 25 nationally on the day of its release. He has also had two top 40 singles with 'Shadow Jumpin' in 1998 and 'Charade' in 2000.
Nathan has shared the stage with many iconic acts such as Peter Frampton, War, Kansas, and Melissa Etheridge to name just a few. In 2007 he collaborated with Tommy Cash to write 'Fade to Black' which became the title track of Mr. Cash's tribute album to his brother Johnny Cash. Also, he has collaborated with legendary radio personality Gary Burbank on many projects, including Blue Run, and has created Next Guess Music Publishing with nearly 200 songs in his catalog.
Always the visionary, he continues to push the envelope and follow his passions wherever they may lead. Continually pursuing projects that may seem larger-than-life or out of reach to some, Nathan will never sit around on Someday Island for too long!