Canoe Outfitters of Florida offers self-guided canoeing and kayaking adventures on the National Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida. We also have canoeing, kayaking and biking in the highly acclaimed Riverbend Park of Palm Beach County, known as "The Jewel of Palm Beach County Parks".
History of Canoe Outfitters of Florida, Inc.
Eric and Sandy Bailey began renting canoes on the Loxahatchee River as Canoe Outfitters on April 1, 1980. (April Fools Day). Eric says "the April Fools joke was on me; I thought I would be retired by now!"
As Eric was still teaching school, we were initially open only on the weekends. We started with two canoes that we carried on the roof of our rusty old Aspen station wagon. Having no building, we set up a card table by the side of the road, next to the river with a telephone that was located on a power pole in a metal box. The boats had to go home with us at the end of each day. We operated this way until 1993, but by this time we were open 5 days a week and had 5 trailers with 70 canoes/kayaks to move to work each morning and back home each evening.
Jupiter was growing and we were in the way of the new 4 lane highway over the river. We moved to Reese's Groves, adjacent to Riverbend Park. This property would eventually become a part of Riverbend Park, but at this time was owned by Demick Reese. At least we had a roof over our head and a phone line indoors, and we began to look like a business, instead of a road side vendor. Only problem was the boat launch was on the other side of the 4 lane highway that was under construction. Customers had to come to the store to register and then cross the road in their car to get into the river. It was not the best business model.
In 1999, we moved into Riverbend Park, which, at the time held a parking lot and the Canoe Outfitters office trailer. Today Riverbend Park offers over 15 miles of hiking/biking trails, 5 1/2 miles of waterways to paddle, horse trails and picnic facilities. Today we now offer bike rentals and although we are in the same trailer that we opened Riverbend with, we will eventually be moved to a new location in the park. Sandy and Eric are looking forward to the final move as our business has grown over the years.
We are thankful to have had the opportunity to
serve the residents and visitors of Palm Beach County.
Paddlesports Industry Association
Florida Professional Paddlesports Association