St Johns River Trail
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St John's River Trail Segment 25 Information
This last Segment consists of legs 17 through 21 of the Lower Basin of the 310 mile long north flowing river. It is the longest flowing river in Florida. As of March 2020, campsites at Exchange Island Park had not been officially opened. The last phase of Park development included a new dock and pavilions on the south side of the island. The next planned phase is to add a bathroom facility and several campsites. Contact the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation for information on the official opening of the campsites. Water levels on the river vary considerably with rainfall amounts and tidal action. At this point strong tidal currents become an increasingly important consideration the closer you get to the mouth of the river. Plan to use them to your advantage by riding the outgoing tide. It can be almost impossible to paddle against the tidal surge. Stay out of the channel and along the shoreline where possible. Remember to stay at least 100 yards away from military vessels. Wind can be an important factor on some of the wider parts of the St Johns. Always make sure to carry plenty of water and food. Make sure you leave a good float plan. Carry good maps, a compass and GPS. This Segment is recommended for advanced paddlers only due to strong tidal currents, heavy powerboat traffic and exposure due to the width of the river. Make sure you make reservations ahead of time at all State and private campgrounds to make sure you have a campsite upon arrival. For the remainder of the St Johns River Trail, see Segments 22, 23, and 24.
NOTE : Great care has been taken to ensure this guides accuracy, but weather, tides, and water conditions can change rapidly and create hazardous conditions. These maps are for visual reference only, please consult NOAA Charts for navigation. Paddlers should have all proper safety equipment and check conditions before departure. All paddlers should always wear PFDs while on the water, and leave a float plan. There are inherent dangers in any paddle sport. There are special hazards along the Florida rivers due to shifting tides, changing wind, weather and water levels, and treacherous bottoms with soft mud, rocks, and oysters. It is up to each paddler to be aware of these dangers, to accept and be prepared for the risks involved, and to be certain they have the skills to safely paddle in these conditions.