Doug Alderson's Writing & Photography

Recent Happenings


Florida's Rivers: A Celebration of the Sunshine State's Dynamic Waterways, an all-color hardback by Doug and the culmination of 20 years of exploring the state's rivers, will be released by Pineapple Press in September of 2021. The month before, Pineapple Press will release the second edition of Doug's Traveling Florida's Seminole Trail: A Complete Guide to Seminole Indian Historic and Cultural Sites

Pineapple Press has released the second edition of A New Guide to Old Florida Attractions: From Mermaids to Singing Towers! The first edition won a first-place royal palm literary award for published travel book by the Florida Writers Association and received accolades from the group for being one of the top five published books of 2017. It received positive press coverage in the St. Augustine Record, the Lakeland Ledger, Tallahassee Democrat, Naples Florida Weekly and several other newspapers and online websites. Many people use the full-color guide to plan vacations! See Doug's November, 2020 Boynton Beach Library presentation about Old Florida attractions!  Read an excerpt from the book on the Florida Rambler website.

In 2020, Lyons Press published Doug's America's Alligator: A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile. Tom Palmer of The Ledger in Winter Haven called it "a great read no matter what you think you already know... This is a book worth including in any Florida library." Philip K. Jason, writing in the Southern Literary Review, said,  "The appeal of this book does not rest only on its effective storytelling and educative power. The illustrations, photographic and otherwise, are dazzling and contribute much to the overall impact of the book." Watch an entertaining interview with Doug about the book on Author Jam with Dr. Shelley Plumb. Read an excerpt from chapter 7 on the Florida Rambler website. Watch Doug's presentation about the book to the Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park. 

Doug enjoyed speaking at the 2019 International Trails Symposium in Syracuse, New York and at the 2020 Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Academy in Fort Walton Beach.

In January, 2019, Doug provided information and a lead quote for a Florida travel article in the Boston Globe.

Doug helps to coordinate the highly successful Apalachicola RiverTrek, highlighting the plight of the Apalachicola River and Bay and raising funds for Apalachicola Riverkeeper. Doug and co-leader Georgia Ackerman were featured on the Canoe & Kayak Magazine website. Support RiverTrek! Read the Tallahassee Democrat feature article Doug wrote about the 2020 RiverTrek.


Since publishing his first free-lance magazine article at age eighteen, Doug Alderson's articles and photographs have been featured in Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sea Kayaker, Sierra, Mother Earth News, Native Peoples, Shaman's Drum, Campus Life, America, The Old Farmer's Almanac, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Florida Naturalist, Florida Sportsman, Paddler's Guide, Florida Wildlife, AT Journeys, Rails to Trails, New Age Travel and several others. He has 14 published books (see below) and has won several state and national writing awards for his books, short stories, and magazine features. He is also an adventurer, having  hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, coordinated a group walk across the United States, backpacked through Europe, and mapped a 1,500-mile sea kayaking trail around Florida.

Doug has been a featured speaker at symposiums, writer's conferences and book fairs, including the Miami Book Fair International. He has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times National Geographic website, Boston Globe,  and Adventure Kayak magazine  for his writing and trail work.  Paddle Florida presented Doug their inaugural Environmental Service Award  in 2015 "for conspicuous commitment, unflagging dedication and love of Florida's natural environment." 

Waters Less Traveled Vision Keepers
New Dawn for the Kissimmee River The Ghostly Ghost Tour of St. Augustine Through Time and Wilderness
Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife    



America's Alligator: A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile examines the colorful and sometimes conflicted relationship our species has had with the American alligator, from Native American mythology to alligator wrestling to modern alligator attractions. Alligator-related songs, movies, literature and even tales of alligators in the White House are all included. The book is in full color!

A New Guide to Old Florida Attractions (2nd edition) takes readers on an unforgettable journey across the Sunshine State, exploring the history of Florida tourism and featuring nearly 50 attractions still open to the public. Discover what Florida's golden age of tourism was, and still is, all about― magical, beautiful and fun! This 200-page book is in full color. 

Spooky Stories from the Swamp: Tales from the Florida Back Country is a re-issue of Doug's Ghost Orchid Ghost book with five new stories. These are family friendly spine-tingling tales that convey both Florida history and an appreciation for our great swamps.

Wild Florida Adventures covers journeys on both land and water with useful how-to information at the end of each chapter. From kayaking the length of the Florida Keys to searching for record-sized trees in a huge swamp to meeting the famous naked man of the Santa Fe River, this complementary sequel to Wild Florida Waters takes readers into Florida's unique places. The book won a 2014 first place royal palm literary award in the travel book category from the Florida Writers Association. Conor Mihel of Canoe & Kayak Magazine calls it "a compelling glimpse of Florida."

Simon's Wondrous Garden and Other Stories  chronicles the life of an Atlanta attorney who begins having paranormal experiences after a car accident. Reaching back to his farm roots, he is inspired to turn his manicured suburban yard into an odorous vegetable garden, provoking the wrath of his wife and neighbors. What follows is both humorous and profound.

The Great Florida Seminole Trail  is the first comprehensive illustrated guide to Florida's historic and cultural sites that directly relate to Seminole Indians. The span of Seminole history covered in the book ranges from William Bartram's visits to Seminole villages in the early 1770s to the tragic Seminole wars to contemporary Seminole attractions. 

Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe places Florida's unsurpassed beauty and abundant wildlife in the forefront, from the mangrove labyrinth of the Ten Thousand Islands to the springfed Ichetucknee River. It includes an exciting dose of paddling adventures along with useful how-to information. Available on Amazon and at select retailers! It received second place awards from the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and Florida Writers Association. Doug read from his book on the WFSU television show Dimensions.  Donna Meredith reviewed the book in the Southern Literary Review.  

Seminole Freedom is a novel based on true historical events. Following the life of Jenny as she grows into womanhood and endures the long and bitter Seminole wars, this tale of hardship, bravery and freedom explores the little known role of Black Seminoles in the shaping of American history. Also available on Kindle.

Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010) features chapters tracking panthers, black bears, whooping cranes, manatees, sea turtles, even ivory-billed woodpeckers. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about wild Florida. Now available on Kindle!

Through Time and National Parks: Doug sets out to retrace his grandparents' 1939 western journey with a burning question: are the panoramic landscapes, especially those found in our national parks, as relevant and captivating today as they were more than 75 years ago? Also available on Kindle.

The Ghostly Ghost Tour of St. Augustine and Other Tales from Florida's Coast: Where else but Florida can you find a greater treasure-trove of tales filled with pirates, shipwrecked sailors, ghostly sea captains and lost tribes of Native Americans? Also available on Kindle and audio.

New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Lake Okeechobee by Kayak  uses a 12-day expedition to highlight the ongoing restoration of the Kissimmee River. It was first place awards from both the Florida Writers Association and Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

The Vision Keepers: Walking For Native Americans and the Earth, which covers Doug's walks and experiences with Native American people, was released in April of 2007 by Quest Books of Wheaton, Illinois. It has recently been translated into Russian.

Doug's first book, Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast  chronicles a 9-day sea kayaking adventure along a Gulf Coast wilderness. Salty characters, colorful history and amusing tales are all included. The book was the runner up for Best Travel Book of 2006 by the North American Travel Journalists Association.

Doug is a proud member in these organizations: Florida Writers Association, Tallahassee Writers Association, Florida Paddling Trails Association and Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

2020  Public Appearances

  • Wildlife Viewing & Nature Tourism Academy, Ft. Walton Beach, Feb. 20
  • Northwest Florida Ecotourism Summit, Panama City, Feb. 25
  • Tallahassee City Hall poetry reading, March 4
  • Midtown Reader virtual event, Tallahassee, April 23, 6 p.m.
  • Florida Trail Association virtual event, May 12, 7 p.m.
  • MacIntosh Books (Sanibel) virtual event, May 28, 6 p.m.
  • Story & Song Bookstore (Amelia Island) virtual event, June 4, 2 p.m.
  • Perry Florida Library alligator book program, June 29, 5:30 p.m.
  • Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club online alligator program, August 19
  • Lifelong Learning alligator book online class, Tallahassee Senior Center, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Sept. 10,
  • Sumter County  Library online alligator book program, 1 p.m., Sept. 18 
  • Boynton Beach  Library online alligator book program, 11 a.m., Sept. 23
  • Facebook Live event about alligator book with Dr. Shelley Plumb, 7 p.m., Oct. 7
  • East Lake Library, Palm Harbor online spooky storytelling, 6 p.m., Oct. 20
  • Charlotte Co. Library, online spooky storytelling, 3 p.m., Oct. 29
  • Boynton Beach Library Old FL Attractions online program, Nov. 18, 11 a.m.
  • Charlotte Co. Library, alligator book online program, 3 p.m., Nov. 19
  • Sumter County Library, Old FL Attractions online program, 2 p.m., Dec. 4
  • Friends of Wakulla Springs online alligator book program, 7 p.m., Dec. 10
  • FL Scenic Highways Program online talk, noon, Dec. 16

2021 Public Appearances

  • 1st Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches, online talk, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 10
  • Tallahassee Writer's Association online program, 6:30 p.m., April 8

Doug enjoys doing book signings, PowerPoint programs and guiding groups in the outdoors. For events outside of the Tallahassee area, an honorarium is requested to cover travel expenses. Contact Doug for a complete list of programs he offers,


Doug is an accomplished photographer specializing in nature photos. He is interested in sharing the timeless beauty of land and water with his audience. A few of his photos are shown below. You can view more of Florida's landscapes, plants and animals here. His photos are also featured in a gallery on the 1000 Friends of Florida website. Doug won contest categories in the 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 National Recreation Trails photo contests.


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