Kim Heiss ~ August 2014

Posted at 10:50 am on 07/21/2014

Where are you from?  Your profession? I grew up in Pennsylvania, but I have lived in Gainesville, Florida since 1998.  My graduate degree is from University of Florida in Landscape Architecture.   I'm a landscape designer at Cottage Gardens, Inc.

2) When and how did you become interested in paddling? 
My family used to camp in Maine in the summer and we had a canoe—that was my introduction to paddling.  Soon after I came to Gainesville, a friend of mine took me on one of Lars Andersen's Adventure Outpost trips and I've been hooked ever since.  I think it was on the Ichetucknee.

3) Where is your favorite place to paddle?  I love to paddle from Shell Mound, near Cedar Key on Florida’s west coast, out to Derrick Key.  I've had great times paddling around the Indian River Lagoon near Vero Beach.  Of course I love to paddle ALL the springs - Rock Springs Run, Ichetucknee, Juniper Springs.  I also love the high, eroded limestone banks along the Suwannee River.

4) What’s the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you on a paddling trip?  
Every time I hear and see dolphins I'm thrilled.

5) How many Paddle Florida trips have you gone on and to where?  I've been on the Wekiva/St. John's River Ramble and the Suwannee River Paddling Festival.   Both were terrific!

6) What  keeps you coming back?  The live music at the end of the day, meeting other paddling enthusiasts, camping and being in nature, and not having to cook.


7) Can you describe a particular Paddle Florida trip highlight?   Seeing two young black bears at dusk on a secluded dock while paddling on the Wekiva River.

8) What advice do you have for folks considering a Paddle Florida trip?  Paddle Florida trips are both physically challenging and fun, you'll meet lots of interesting people, see lots of beautiful natural places, and have great food and music at the end of the day.  They even had a massage therapist at the end of the Suwannee River Paddling Festival!

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