Boggy Creek Airboats
Tony Conboy III
That's right - Airboat Rides. Once seen only on billboards when approaching the Everglades in South Florida, Boggy Creek Airboat Rides now offers Orlando tourists the thrill and beauty of an airboat ride just
14 miles from the home of the mouse.
At the East Lake Fish Camp, under the canopy of aging Oak trees, a wild peacock wonders the grounds and welcomes you to where you will begin your airboat journey.
Down home Southern hospitality and modern technology in the form of a 424 HP motor on a small steel boat, intersect to give you a memorable look at a part of Florida that is quickly disappearing - natural Florida. During the tour, the airboat's guides stop and idle the airboat's loud engines when points of interest are observed such as alligators and other wildlife.
For someone unfamiliar with an airboat, it is truly a unique contraption. It is basically a small steal boat with a gigantic propeller attached to the rear that propels the boat at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Airboats were developed to maneuver back and forth between open waters and marshes with little or no water. During your ride you will slice across water only inches deep as you mow down reeds, cat-tails and bullrustles and then glide over water lilies and the purple flowered water hyacinths at speeds approaching 50 MPH.
Each boat holds up to 18 passengers, two guides (operators) and generally lasts 30-40 minutes. The guides sit above the passengers so they have a unobstructed view of what lies ahead. At times the airboat creeps through the marshes in search of a Sand Hill Crane and its nest and other times it jets across the open water showcasing its speed and agility.
The ride is perfect for old and young alike. Children under six years of age are required to wear life jackets, which are provided. Ear protection is also provided to everyone to muffle the sound of the boat's massive engine and sunglasses or another form of eye protection is also strongly advised.
If you want to see alligators on your ride, remember this important tip shared with us by our guides. Alligators don't really like the hot sun any more than we do, so the best opportunity to see gators is early
in the morning or very late in the day - not mid-day when it is hottest. They seek out shade and are more likely to be submerged.