End-to-End Alumni

The following list includes both thru-paddlers and section paddlers who have completed the entire CT. As of December 2014, there are just 14 people on this list, 10 thru-paddlers and 4 section paddlers. The Florida Paddling Trails Association maintains this list on their Paddling Community page, so after you finish your adventure, please let me know and let the FPTA know so you are added to the hall of fame.

2008 - 2009

photo by Doug Alderson
photo by Doug Alderson

Matt Keene of Clermont, Fl, began on Sept 15, 2008 at Ft. Clinch in a homemade wooden kayak and reached Big Lagoon SP on Jan 5, 2009 to become the first CT thru-paddler. His girlfriend (now wife) Jodi Eller and friend Matt Gallagher joined him for part of the trek. Afterward, he and Jodi thru-hiked the Florida Trail.  http://amkeene.com/

photo by Doug Alderson
photo by Doug Alderson

Mike Ruso and Dan Dick started on November 12, 2008 at Big Lagoon SP and reached Fort Clinch on March 26 2009 to become the first west-to-east thru-paddlers. Mike is the founder and managing editor of this website.

2009 - 2010

Charles Ingle of Tallahassee reached Ft. Clinch State Park on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010. He averaged 24 miles a day, for a total of 63 days on the water.

Photo by Michael Franklin
Photo by Michael Franklin

Jake Stachovak of Wausau, Wisconsin, completed the CT as part of an epic 5000-mile circumnavigation of the eastern United States that he called the "Portage to Portage Paddling Project." He began paddling in early December 2009 on the Wisconsin River in Portage, WI, and paddled down the icy Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. From New Orleans he reached Florida and began the CT. Afterward he continued up the Atlantic coast to New York, entered its canal system, and reached the Great Lakes, which brought him home to Wisconsin.    http://www.portagetoportage.com/

photo by Mark Adams
photo by Mark Adams

Ian Brown of Orlando started in November of 2009 at Big Lagoon SP and, after many stops and starts, reached Fort Clinch in late summer 2010. During the trip he received help from FPTA members.

2011 - 2012

Warren Johnson of Hoover, Alabama, completed the CT in two parts, beginning in 2011 at Big Lagoon and arriving at the Georgia border in August of 2012 at age 62. He had already gained notoriety by paddling the Alabama Scenic River Trail both directions in one trip.

Warren created a Google Earth map of the trail and waypoints available at http://findingwarren.com/gm/fct/.


Daniel Alvarez of Tallahassee paddled 4000 miles from the northern tip of Minnesota, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, and along the Gulf Coast to reach Key West in March of 2013, a journey he called Paddling the Heart of America. He surprised everyone by continuing his journey up the east coast of America, finishing the CT in the process and completing a loop through the Great Lakes.  http://predictablylost.com

Gus Bianchi paddled the entire CT in segments, beginning with Apalachicola in December 2009. After 13 trips, ranging from 40 to 212 miles accompanied by a number of different paddling partners, Gus completed all the CT segments at age 66 on September 13, 2013 in Cedar Key. Gus is the former director of Florida Sea Kayaking Association.

Carl W. Anderson from Fernandina Beach, Florida, completed the CT in sections beginning in early 2011 at the lower Aucilla launch. He finished the last section when he arrived at Fort Clinch on September 16th 2013 at age 67. Carl paddled most of the trail with Gus Bianchi and his wife Barbara. Carl is a board member and outings leader for the Nassau County Sierra Club (no website at this time).

Jodi Eller of St. Augustine completed the CT in sections and is the first female end-to-end paddler. She paddled most of the Trail in 2008 with then-boyfriend-now-husband Matt Keene, the first CT thru-paddler. She completed the rest of the Trail in 2013. Jodi is a professor of environmental science at Flagler University.

2013 - 2014

Marc DeLuca and Jim Windle, two retired police officers from Charlotte, North Carolina, left Big Lagoon SP on November 2nd, 2013 and reached Fort Clinch on March 1st, 2014. They were greeted at the end by thru-paddle alumni Gus Bianchi, Carl Anderson, and Ian Brown.  http://kayakaroundflorida.wordpress.com


Mary Mangiapia is the second woman to complete the CT and the first woman to thru-paddle. She left Big Lagoon SP on September 6, 2014 in an Epic 18X kayak and reached Fort Clinch on December 10, 2014.

In 2012 she competed in WaterTribe's Ultimate marathon, a 60-mile race from Fort De Soto Park to Cape Haze and raced in the 300-mile Everglades Challenge the following year. Mary recently earned a masters degree in microbiology from USF.