Have you ever thought, “man, I would love to go off-road on a Segway but I just don’t know where to do that”? If so, I have some great news for you. Going on an off-road Segway tour is totally a thing you can do in Jacksonville! Kayak Amelia offers Segway tours of Fort George Island two to three times a day, six to seven days a week (depending on the season and demand).
We took a tour with them, and it was not only fun but informative. We met our guide, Nick, at their Segway shed just across the road from the Ribault Club. After getting helmets and going over safety basics, we rode around the adjacent field to get a feel for how a Segway handles. For instance, did you know that a Segway can do a 360 degree spin in its own footprint? The Kayak Amelia off-road Segways are outfitted with big, grooved tires that can handle the bumps and roots of island paths.
After a few circles in the field, we took off to explore the island with Nick. Moving at a leisurely 6 mph, we rode through the woods while Nick told us about the history of the island through our headsets. Along the way, he pointed out flora and fauna just on the cusp of spring blooms and nonchalant gopher tortoises preparing themselves for the impending afternoon storm. Nick knew a lot about the history of the island and its current status as a state park. Right now, Fort George is in the most natural state it’s been in for hundreds of years. As the oyster shells break down from old Timucua middens, the nitrogen they release into the soil contributes to above average growth among the surrounding magnolia trees. Nick told us that the deep grooves in the oak trees help experts determine that some of them are over four hundred years old.
As we rolled along, Nick told us about the importance of the Segway tours. Not only do tourists learn a lot about the island, the Segways offer an opportunity for folks that might not be able to explore by foot or bicycle. As long as someone can stand up for an hour or two and has a modicum of coordination, (s)he can ride a Segway. Nick mentioned previous clients that walked with canes or had prosthetic legs and were still able to ride. There were two women that rode around the field that were 97 and 106! Also, because Kayak Amelia has such a strong safety record, riders as young as 14 can join in the fun (most Segway rentals require riders to be 16).
In addition to Segway tours, Kayak Amelia offers (surprise!) kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) tours of the surrounding waterways. Their shop is located on Heckscher Drive near Big Talbot Island. We look forward to doing a kayak or SUP tour with them soon as we have only heard great things. All of the guided tours require a reservation. What are you waiting for? The weather is getting warmer. It’s the perfect time of year for a tour with Kayak Amelia. Whether you’re in the mood to roll through the woods or glide across the inlet, Kayak Amelia has you covered. Contact them today at (904)251-0016 or www.kayakamelia.com.