Gardner Welcome Quick Print (PDF)
Are you doing an overnight camping trip on the Peace River that stops in Gardner? This page has helpful information about Zolfo Springs to Gardner/19.5 mile or Gardner to Gardner Runs.
Check-in: Canoe Outpost-Peace River has two offices for overnight check-ins. The Arcadia office is for check-in all year and the Gardner office is for busy times for those doing the Zolfo Springs Run. When you make your reservation, you need to double check which office to go to. Do you need directions? No matter what the trip, if your trip ends in Gardner, you park in Gardner.
Plan on: Checking in at Arcadia unless you are told different at the time of your reservation. All trips check-in at Arcadia on weekdays, Sundays, or if you were instructed to when you made your reservation. If you don't want to come to Arcadia for check-in, then you can meet the bus in Gardner by pre-paying (see pre-pay below) If you check-in at Arcadia, you will load your gear on the bus in Arcadia, then follow the bus to Gardner. Once in Gardner, you park your vehicle, jump on the bus, and we transport you to Zolfo Springs to start your trip. You load in Arcadia and not in Gardner because the schedule dictates the bus leaves Arcadia at 8:00 then leaves Gardner at 8:30. Bus needs to follow this schedule or else the schedule for the rest of the day is shot. If it is a busy weekend, the Gardner office will open on a Saturday and the occasional Friday before a holiday but you need to confirm with the office. Do not head to Gardner for check-in unless instructed to. Check-ins at Gardner are dependent on water levels and if the upper stretch is busy.
Once you are here: At either office, always leave your coolers and gear at your vehicle before coming to the office to check-in. The bus will leave from the parking lot that your vehicles are parked in. Buses will usually move around the parking lot picking everyone up. Everyone needs to come to the office unless you are with a group (see group info below). Everyone who can see over the check-in counter must sign the release. Spouses cannot sign for each other. If you have Power of Attorney, then be prepared to produce the letter granting you Power of Attorney. If kids can't see over the counter then they need to be fitted with lifejackets, it is the law. Adults jackets (orange horse collars) are already on the bus as well as one boat cushion per person. Kids, 90 lbs. and under, must be fitted with a lifejacket and they are handed out at check-in. Seatback rentals are available at check-in. They are not at the put-in or on the bus, you must pick them up at the office and load them yourselves or carry them with you. Do not load on a bus unless instructed to by a staff member. You pay first, then load. Once the gear is loaded, staff members will get a head count to make sure we have everybody and then it's off to the river.
Groups: A group will have a group leader and a group sign-up. We only deal with the group leader at check-in. Individuals within a group that wish to pay separately (credit card or cash) will be charged full price. Group leader handles the check-in. If the group leader does not order seatbacks for the entire group then you need to come to the office and rent your own, see above. Kids need to come to the office for lifejackets, see above.
Pre-Pay: Pre-paying is an option for those not wanting to come to Arcadia to check-in. We will fax or email you the forms for completion. You then fax or email the completed forms back to us by the day before the trip. The bus will meet you in Gardner so you can load your gear, then the bus will take you to Zolfo Springs. But, when the bus gets to Gardner to pick you up, you must be ready to load. Move your vehicles to the main parking lot by the bus and load immediately. There will be usually other customers who have already loaded and ready to go, don't hold the bus up.
Along the way: Stopping and picnicking is allowed the entire trip on deserted islands and beaches. Camping is on the west side of the river and the west side only once you are past the yellow/tan cabin on the right about 5 miles down on the 19.5 mile.
At the End: The Gardner Outpost at the end of the trip has restrooms, outdoor shower, shady picnic areas with tables, and shady parking.
Note: Prices are based on having the canoe/kayak for the time paid for, not the length of the trip. Need to be back to the beach at Gardner as instructed by the office staff at check-in or refer to your river map, it will be marked on there. All prices are plus 7.5% sales tax if applicable.
Call 800-268-0083 or 863-494-1215 to set up your Peace Paddle
Group and Youth Group rates available, see Group rates
PS: If there aren't many canoes coming in at Gardner, the return time will be between 2 p.m. or 4 p.m., we'll determine that when you check-in. On weekends, your vehicle is always parked at the end of the trip in either Arcadia or Gardner, no end of trip bus rides!
Canoe Outpost-Peace River
2816 NW County Rd. 661, Arcadia, FL 34266