was founded in 1991 by the Faulk family (Joe, Jean, and Brian)
who combined a love of nature and the outdoors with Joe's
20 years' experience in the hospitality industry to create
a full-service outfitting company, offering environmentally-friendly,
recreational paddling experiences on the Hillsborough River
in close proximity to the Tampa Bay area's large population
Approximately 30 environmentally-sensitive miles along the
Hillsborough River are included in Canoe Escape's offerings.
An array of developed private and public park areas (including
the Wilderness Park System [4 sites], Lettuce Lake Park, and
Rotary Park) provide picnic and restroom facilities along
the way. Downstream canoe trips are available for two hours
up to a full day.
Canoe Escape's philosophy is that a canoe or kayak is the
ideal vehicle to observe wildlife and enjoy the peace and
serenity the natural Florida offers. So paddlers can enjoy
nature's symphony, no radios are allowed on any Canoe Escape.
The trained staff is happy to give paddling pointers to those
who have never canoed, as well as those who just need a refresher
on the "J" stroke.
In 1992 Canoe Escape initiated an interpretive guided trip
program in response to requests from Tampa Bay area resorts
and destination management companies for their incentive group
Canoe Escape's paddling opportunities include self-guided,
downstream trips, hourly rentals,
guided trips: Nature Interpretive
Guided Trips and Nature Reveals God
[coming soon], and specialty trips: Moonlight
Trips and 17 Runs Trips along
the Hillsborough River. Local residents as well as national
and international visitors of all ages enjoy paddling with
Canoe Escape. The diversity of the Hillsborough allows paddlers
to experience a variety of ecosystems including: a quiet-water
section for wildlife observation through a tannin-stained,
Spanish moss-draped cypress swamp; an "Indiana Jones" trip
through the untamed 17 Runs Swamp; and moonlight trips (October
through April). Canoe Escape provides quality canoes and kayaks
that are quiet, stable, roomy, and comfortable for their rentals.
Not only is canoeing and kayaking a great sport, it also offers
an excellent way to view wildlife, do photography, fish, get
exercise, socialize, instill teamwork, enjoy peace and serenity,
reduce stress, and rediscover man's connection to the planet.
In 2011 after
20 years of showcasing the wonders of the Hillsborough River
to the world Canoe Escape relocated into John B. Sargeant
Park the put in for its most popular trip. As a result of
this opportunity, Canoe Escape is able to offer hourly rentals
and has begun planning to implement its new program "Nature
Reveals God" developed by one of Canoe Escape's guides,
about the characteristics of God's creation, parables, and
scripture, this new program is designed to expose everybody
to the world that GOD has created and what His creation can
show and tell us about how we live our lives.
says: "But ask the animals, and
they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will
tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you, or
let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does
not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In His
hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all
Canoe Escape is actively involved in promoting the Tampa Bay
area. The successful growth rate of the company can be attributed
to Canoe Escape's own marketing as well as its joint marketing
efforts with the following:
Tampa Bay & Company - (www.visittampabay.com) - The Tampa
Bay area's convention and visitor's association. Active membership
since 1991. Canoe Escape is an added feature to the growing
list of the Bay area's attractions and offers that "green"
experience for the eco-traveler. Joe is a past board member.
Visit Florida (www.visitflorida.com)
- Canoe Escape is a founding partner of Florida's public/private
partership for tourism promotion.
Local affiliations - Good working relationships and
cross-promotion of state and county parks, private campgrounds,
hotels, and others.
Canoe Escape is actively involved with promoting paddlesports
and is a member of the following:
The Florida Professional Paddlesports Association (FPPA)
- FPPA is the not-for-profit trade association of paddlesports
businesses in Florida. It is dedicated to the preservation
of the vast recreational water resources available throughout
the Sunshine State; to the education of the limited and fragile
condition of our wetland environment and the need to protect
it for future generations; and to recreational opportunities
by providing a full array of paddling possibilities for both
the novice and experienced paddler. Joe is a past-president
of FPPA. Joe and Jean served as the membership committee for
10 years and brochure committee for five years.
The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) (www.propaddle.com) - PPA is a not-for-profit
trade association of paddlesports businesses worldwide. Jean
is a past Southeastern Regional Director.
Canoe Escape is committed to the protection and preservation
of the Hillsborough River. River clean-ups are performed on
a regular basis in order to put the best possible "face" on
the resource and to keep that once in a lifetime photograph
from being spoiled by trash.
Canoe Escape was chosen as The Best River Rental in 1996 and
the Best Canoe Outfitter in 1997 by "Weekly Planet" readers
in their Best of the Bay surveys.
The Faulks' story has been featured on "The Good Life", a
Scott Craig Production, airing on the Home and Garden Network
is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry where he
served as controller, corporate controller, general manager,
and regional vice-president for a Florida-based hotel franchise
group and hotel management company. His past accomplishments
include helping found the Central Florida Hospitality Accountants'
Association and past-president of the Tampa Hotel/Motel Association.
Since co-founding Canoe Escape in 1991, Joe also co-founded
Tampa Outdoor Adventures (a marketing cooperative); served
a term as President of the Florida Professional Paddlesports
Association; was the state coordinator for the Professional
Paddlesports Association; and serveed on the Board of Directors
of the Tampa/Hillsborough Convention and Visitors' Association
(now Tampa Bay & Company).
Joe's hobbies are paddling, birding, and photography.
Jean has a diverse background. She has been a homemaker, an
executive secretary, and founded her own typing service business.
Since co-founding Canoe Escape, Jean served on the Hillsborough
River Greenways' Task Force (now the Hillsborough River Watershed
Alliance); was a former Florida Recreational Trails Council
Member; was an invited participant in the Southwest Florida
Water Management District's Hillsborough River Watershed Management
Plan process; was a co-chair of the Florida Professional Paddlesports
Association membership committee; and was a Southeastern Regional
Director of the Professional Paddlesports Association.
an integral part of Canoe Escape for 20 years. He retains
his position as an officer in the company and serves as a
Self-Guided, Downstream River
Trips Hourly Rentals Canoe/Kayak Owners
Guided Trips Nature
Interpretive Nature Reveals
God (coming soon)
Special Events Moonlight
Trips 17 Runs
What To Bring What
Might I See?
Information and Reservations (strongly