5 Rivers Adventures unmasks real Florida

Savannah Reams
ECB Publishing, Inc.

5 Rivers Adventures began with one man's love for North Florida and the natural rivers that flow through its heart. Bradley Cooley, a Jefferson County native and local artist who is known throughout the area for his works of bronze, is also an avid outdoorsman. “I learned a lot about Florida history through working with my father and sculpting,” said Cooley, whose father was also an artist. “I studied Native Americans and Florida wildlife and learned a great deal over the last 30 years.” Today, Cooley incorporates his knowledge of local waterways with his boat tours, which offer an up-close look at real Florida.
Three years ago, Cooley was in the business of renting cabins. However, people were always interested in the river and his airboat. “People were always wanting to rent them and ride them, so I started doing educational trips and teaching people about the river,” said Cooley. Soon, 5 Rivers Adventures became a reality and, today, Cooley, along with his second captain Jon Schee, offers tours of five of Florida's natural resources: the Aucilla, Econfina, St. Marks, Wacissa and Fenholloway rivers.
5 Rivers offers in-shore fishing (seasonal), frog gigging (year-round), and adventure tours. Adventure tours are geared towards families and provide a little bit of everything.
From the front seat of an airboat, your captain will take you on a full, one-hour tour through the winding waters of the Wacissa River where you're sure to see all sorts of Florida wildlife, including the Florida alligator, blue herons, turtles and more. Your captain will teach you all about the unique eco systems of the river and, together, you will visit the crystal-clear springs that feed our North Florida rivers. Even better, listen to the stories of the indigenous people who inhabited the Wacissa years ago.
Love to fish? Try out some in-shore fishing. 5 Rivers in-shore fishing tours start at half-day trips (four hours), ¾-day trips (six hours), and full-day trips (eight hours). “We’ll launch our signature airboat from the Econfina River and head out to the forgotten coast for some trout and red fishing,” claims Cooley. “From the creeks along the coast to my personal hot spots, we know how to put you on the fish!”
5 Rivers Adventures also offers frog gigging tours for those daring to try their luck with a gig. Frog gigging is not for the faint of heart and involves closer encounters with wildlife. This is a three-hour minimum tour; one hour to recon, and two hours of gigging. The tour begins an hour before sunset and extends up to two hours past dark.
Whether you're looking to encounter Florida's beautiful rivers and wildlife, or catch some tasty fish on the coast, 5 Rivers Adventures is a sure-fire option to experience the most of what our great state has to offer. Contact 5 Rivers Adventures at 5riversfl@gmail.com or call them at (850) 544-2797. You can also visit their website, 5riversfl.com, or check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/5riversadventures.