Kayaking to Kingsley Plantation
Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island is among the most fascinating Jacksonville tours available. In addition to being surrounded by natural beauty, the plantation is brimming with historical interest, featuring a slavery-era plantation house, a kitchen house, a barn and the ruins of twenty-five slave houses.
One of the more exciting and physically active ways to visit the plantation is to embark on a kayaking tour. Kayaks, equipment, snacks and water bottles are provided for each participant. On the way to the island, kayakers are met with a breathtaking array of sights and sounds. Many bird species frequent the area, both native and migratory, and the blue-green water is chock full of unique wildlife such as dolphins and manatees.
Upon arriving at the plantation, visitors will explore the island while developing a sense of what plantation life was like and learning of the plantations’ storied history. For example, the system of slavery utilized by namesake owner Zephaniah Kingsley is known as the “task” system. This system tended to be less harsh than the opposing “gang” system of slavery, allowing slaves to work on their own projects once the day’s tasks were completed. Projects included tending personal gardens and perfecting a craft. Slaves were allowed to sell their products at the marketplace and to keep most of the earnings.
After a thorough tour of the plantation, kayakers will depart in search of beautiful secluded beaches at which to take a break and have a swim before heading home. The tremendous natural and historical assets of the region ensure this is a trip that visitors will not soon forget.