31-year-old Jodi Eller of St. Augustine, Florida became the first woman to complete the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail that runs from Pensacola to Key West to the Georgia border. Eller paddled most of the trail in 2008 with husband Matt Keene, the first “thru paddler” of the trail and completed the remaining segments in late 2013.
Highlights of Eller’s trip included seeing a black bear cub in a tree along the Crooked River near Carrabelle, island hopping in the Indian River Lagoon and experiencing “perfect water conditions” for her last segment from Flamingo to Everglades City through Everglades National Park.
Eller is the eleventh person to complete the entire Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail since its opening in 2008. Currently, two retired police officers from Charlotte, North Carolina, Marc DeLuca and Jim Windle, are paddling the entire trail. They are more than halfway through their journey. To read about the pairs experience check-out their online blog, or visit FloridaGreenwaysandTrails.org for more information on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.