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Resort wants to help visitors paddle Braden River

MANATEE — Soon visitors to Linger Lodge Resort may be able to rent kayaks and canoes to enjoy the scenic flora and fauna of the Braden River.

The resort, which includes campgrounds and a restaurant specializing in old Florida-style fare, hopes to offer boat rentals at a nominal cost beginning later this month, said Mike Levine, general manager.

“We’re hoping to actually partner with established canoers and kayakers, we’re talking to several of them who could provide equipment,” he said.

Currently, anyone wanting to paddle the placid river has to bring his or her own boat or arrange a day trip through a local rental business based elsewhere,

Still, people find a way.

Two kayaks sat serenely Wednesday on the banks of the river while their owners dined inside.

“We put in at Jiggs Landing on the Braden River about 11:30 a.m., and it took us about one hour, 45 minutes to get to Linger Lodge,” said kayaker Norma Kisida, a Bradenton pediatric nurse-practitioner.

Levine said he’s trying to resolve insurance issues in order to accommodate rentals at the resort, 7205 Linger Lodge Road. Paddlers could put into the river just behind the restaurant where the water drifts lazily past boat docks, a boat ramp and picnic tables.

“It’s fairly peaceful,” said Levine of the river. “It makes for the best kind of paddling because it’s peaceful and relaxing,”

The restaurant plans to offer picnics-to-go for those who might want to paddle awhile and eat in the wild, said Levine.

“It’s a beautiful old Florida setting, just like the restaurant,” said Levine.

In addition to a restaurant that serves Florida favorites like alligator chowder, hush puppies, catfish and frog legs, the resort has 110 RV and tent camping sites, plus furnished cabins and rental trailers.

It was founded in 1945 as a fish camp.

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Sara Kennedy, Bradenton Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 708-7908 or at