Get ready for a week of activity, history, and nature on the trails that Botanist William Bartram experienced in 1774 and documented in his book “Travels”. Over 21 sites in Putnam County inspired a group of ecotourist enthusiasts to create maps, brochures, kiosk panels, Bartram events, and to open “the Bartram Inn” bed & breakfast… all with the purpose of featuring John & William Bartram’s travels on the St. Johns River, near Palatka, Florida.
Sunday evening 3:00-5:00pm is check-in to the Bartram Inn, get settled, go for a short stroll downtown along the Riverfront, then back at 5:00 for happy hour, participant welcome social and tour orientation. Dinner on your own, list of restaurants with menus & prices provided. Secure parking for vehicles, kayaks and bicycles.
Monday, Day 1 Breakfast at the Inn, introduction to Bartram’s Palatka. Riverfront tour by bike to kiosks, historic homes and murals of the North and South Historic Districts, Ravine Gardens loop and ending in downtown for lunch at Magnolia Café.
Leisure ride (7 miles) with stops for historic interpretation, photography, and a rest stop at beautiful Ravine Gardens. Afternoon for relaxation and bike tuning.
Monday evening 5:00-6:00 wine & cheese program on Bartram’s travels to Spaulding’s lower store, the “frolic” and Stokes Landing. (Sam Carr, Ken Mahaffey).
Dinner 6:15 (on your own) – possibly gather as a group at Corky Bells on the River.
Tuesday, Day 2 Breakfast at the Inn, Bike Ride to Stokes Landing, site of Spaulding’s Lower Store, short ride return to Palatka, longer ride proceed to Cross Florida Greenway and locks.
Lunch on your own. River Center tour of Bartram section.
Tuesday evening, 5:00-6:00 wine & cheese program on “Puc Puggy & the Franklinia” (Shann Purtington & Carol & Jim McDonald), dinner on your own.
Wednesday, Day 3 Breakfast at the Inn, bike to Waterworks and hike the Puc Puggy trail with Shann, tour of the Waterworks and community gardens; Shuttle to Welaka’s Mud Springs, hike to the River with Carol and Jim. Lunch in Welaka. Shuttle back.
“Wine on Wednesdays” 6:00 pm at Uncork/Unwind downtown with “Bartram Songs and Stories” (Linda & Dean), prelude to Thursday’s paddle.
Dinner (assortment of pizza’s and salad) at the Inn.
Thursday, Day 4 Breakfast at the Inn, load kayaks and equipment and drive to Shell Harbor boat launch. Paddle to Saratoga Springs, past Nashua, Welaka Springs with guides Dean Campbell and Bob Stevens, lunch on your own in Welaka or Palatka, visit winery, afternoon off to visit shops or rest.
Thursday evening, 5:00-6:00 wine & cheese program by Mike Adams, alias William Bartram, about his travels, and an invitation to his home Friday.
Friday, Day 5 Breakfast at the Inn, depart on bikes for the Palatka to St. Augustine trail, Rest stop at Armstrong trailhead, get off trail on 207 to junction of SR 13th and follow the Bartram Scenic Highway (~5 miles) to the entrance to the Adams plantation. Mike will give us a first hand tour and description of living on the River and how William Bartram’s experience on the River has inspired him.
We will have a box lunch at his home (or dock, weather permitting), and return by bike to Palatka in the afternoon.
An Ice cream “farewell” for those departing. An additional night at the Inn is optional, at no additional cost. Dinner will be “on your own” in Palatka or St. Augustine (we may arrange for a shuttle/designated driverJ).
Any special needs (dietary or other) should be relayed to Linda Crider (352-359-0623) at least two weeks previous to the tour. If you desire to rent a bicycle or kayak, that will also have to be arranged for no less than 2 weeks in advance, otherwise we’ll assume you’ll be bringing your own (in good working order, with spare bike tire tubes, life jacket, paddles, whistle, etc.). We will ask to have emergency contacts & phone #s for each participant and require a liability waver to be signed. Any medical or physical condition that may impact your participation needs to be discussed with the tour operator (Linda) at least two weeks in advance.
Your registration will be confirmed and more information as to weather conditions to expect, recommended clothing and equipment, and any changes to the itinerary will be sent to you via the email you supply.
We look forward to having you on this GREAT BARTRAM ADVENTURE TOUR!!!
Bob Stevens, asst. tour director/guide (352) 231-6508 email@example.com
Invitation Email to the INAUGURAL TOUR- FOR THE BARTRAM ADVENTURE TOURS
The inaugural tour for the “Bartram Adventure Tours will be held this Dec. 9-15th, 2018 In Putnam County/Palatka, Florida. It will be a small tour, 6-8 plus guides, so we are exclusively selecting the participants who we hope will be able to write about it and help us create a market strategy for the tours. We hope to do one full tour each season, and one extended weekend tour during the months between December and May.
We have the secured the guides, the routes and the weeks itinerary, prospective participants, and the place to stay. Dinners will be “on-your-own” expenses but most likely we will dine together at local restaurants. We’re looking for a few sponsors to help defray expenses for this first tour. I am trying to keep costs for participants down to $25/day for breakfasts, snacks, gas for shuttles, and wine/cheese for each nights social/program ($25x 6-$150 total). Rooms will be compliments of The Bartram Inn as well as waiving tour guide fees. Each person will be responsible for the costs of their own meals but we will find economical places and some nights eat here and all chip in.
We hope your are able to come Dec 9-15th for the inaugural tour and this is enough information to help you decide and let us know. If you have your own kayaks and bikes, no rentals will be necessary. Hope to hear from you ASAP (352)359-0623 (call or text).