provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Tarpon Bay Explorers, 900 Tarpon Bay Rd., is dialing back its tours schedule as the island heads into the “off season.” TBE is reducing its tour schedule until further notice. Guided kayak tours will now be at 10 a.m. every Wednesday and tram tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Thursday.
Tarpon Bay Explorers reopened Feb. 1, following the destruction of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 28, 2022, and its crew kept an optimistic mentality for a time that is usually the busiest of the season by offering kayak tours three times a week and tram tours twice a week once Wildlife Drive reopened.
“We all knew this year would be different due to Ian’s destruction,” said TBE Managing Partner Wendy Schnapp. “And we have loved and appreciated all of the support and kind words we have received since reopening.”
The kayak tours are an hour and a half with an experienced naturalist guiding kayakers through Commodore Creek. Schnapp joked that Commodore Creek didn’t move anywhere in the storm. “Though the trail’s mangroves did experience some damage, the trail is fully accessible as it has been in the past,” she explained.
“The water clarity lately has been fantastic and we always want locals and visitors to experience the trail’s beauty and our knowledge of the ecosystem and its inhabitants,” Schnapp said.
Tarpon Bay Explorers is the concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It provides eco-tours and water recreation rentals. The company also hosts a wonderful nature-themed gift shop. TBE is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The last rentals of the day go out at 3 p.m.
For more information on tours and rentals or to make a reservation, call the gift shop at 239-472-8900 during business hours or visit tarponbayexplorers.com