Our family has been operating canoe and kayak rentals since 1976, founded by a mother and son team, Gretchen and John Evans started renting canoes from a small camper located on the property. Gretchen found the property for sale in 1972 while trailblazing from Sarasota FL back to our home state of Illinois. She purchased it and with her son John, his wife Connie and family, moved here in 1974. While she worked full time in Tallahassee and John worked as carpenter they hand cleared the property on weekends. Over the next 2 years they worked, their rental fleet consisted of six Mohawk canoes, and lived out of a camper while John built the shop where we still do our rentals. Gretchen came up with the name T~n~T Hide-a-way, there are many different myths as to what the T~n~T stands for, dynamite – for such an explosive place, turkey and trout – what Gretchen thought she was seeing here which in truth were vultures and mullet. John operated the business full time till his untimely death in April of 1981 from a fatal car accident just 2 miles from leaving the river. Gretchen retired from the finance business and committed herself full time to the business. She became an icon to Wakulla County, not only because of her dynamite personality but for her involvement in the community, so much that the new bridge built in 2010 adjacent to our shop was dedicated as the GRETCHEN EVANS MEMORIAL BRIDGE. Numerous pictures in the Wakulla News and Tallahassee Democrat showed her at the river, either wading waist deep in Hurricane water or showing off her beloved manatees, she was among the first to document their existence in the river. She along with friends and neighbors founded the nonprofit organization of HuManatee, to help protect the Wakulla River herd of manatees. Through their efforts and education the entire region became aware of the manatees, and slow speed zone ordinances were put in place in the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers. Gretchen continued to run the business, she was helped with family, mostly grandchildren aka the river rats, until the fall of 2001 when she was totally disabled by a stroke. She stayed on the Wakulla River, cared for by her family till her death in September of 2005.
Now operated by the third generation of river rats, Robert Baker, our services have grown to include American Canoe Association certified instructions for canoeing and kayaking, guided eco-tours or self-shuttling service, along with repairs and rigging for kayaks. Our rental fleet now consists of Stand Up Paddle Boards, single kayaks sit – on or sit – in, tandem kayaks sit -in or sit- on and two and three person canoes.
We still uphold the foundation we inherited and are dedicated to your enjoyment on the Wakulla River.
Meet the Guides
Robert is third generation of the Evans family who founded T~n~T Hide-a-way, Inc. in 1976. At the age of 6 he was paddling his grandmother, Gretchen Evans, along the Wakulla River in search of manatees. Now not only is he the Business Manager and President of the Board of Directors for T~n~T, he is also the former President of the Florida Professional Paddlesports Association and a member of the Paddlesports Industry Association. A graduate from Tallahassee Community College Green Guide course and a Certified Instructor with American Canoe Association are among his other credentials. Roberts’ knowledge of the local rivers, creeks and coastline will make certain you have a positive experience in kayaking off the beaten path. A member with the Forgotten Coast Kayak Angler Association and a Native Watercraft Endorsed Guide, his expertise in kayak fishing will ensure you a unique encounter. Roberts’ skill and familiarity will guarantee you a safe and enjoyable experience.
Billy Goodroe, Guide spent his childhood fishing the central Florida coast and inland lakes and rivers coached by his Bass Master’s father, Paul. Known as “Fishbaitbilly” locally, he won his first fishing tournament at the age of ten with a whopping 8.5 oz. bluegill. Today he can usually be found prowling the flats, creeks ad oyster bars from Steinhatchee to Port St. Joe fishing for trout, redfish, flounder, cobia and tarpon. Billy guides kayak angling expeditions and participates in charity events and tournaments which help support the Meals on Wheels program in Wakulla County, Florida. His knowledge of the area and local fishing tricks and tactics promises to make your next guided fishing trip a memorable one. When not on the water Billy can be found at The Wilderness Way talking up the latest kayak models or just talking up.. fishing!
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