This is Segment 17, Region H. Even though this is a short urbanized segment along south Florida's Gold Coast, paddlers can enjoy several scenic state parks.
Starting from Oleta River State Park, you'll have an opportunity to paddle either the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) or along Atlantic beaches. We recommend taking the Atlantic route only during good weather and light winds. Those trying the Atlantic will need to backtrack to Baker's Haulover Canal, then proceed north. The next opportunity to reenter the ICW is the busy entrance to Port Everglades.
For ICW paddlers, the first stop is Holland Park, seven miles north of Oleta. The park has picnic shelters and makes a fine lunch stop.
From Holland Park continue north to the Ann Kolb Nature Center (a must see!) and then on to the John U. Lloyd State Park. Bring a mask and snorkel as you'll find one of the easiest and most interesting shore dives in the area.
The final stop, and end of this segment is Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Take special care when proceeding past Port Everglades, where gargantuan cruise ships and other boats dock.
16 miles of circumnavigational trail
- Given the narrow Intracoastal Waterway, lengthy stretches of seawalls and heavy boat traffic, this is a challenging segment and recommended for paddlers who have expertise in paddling over large and high energy wakes.
- Boat traffic is higher on weekends and holidays
- No camping exists along this segment
- Paddlers should take special precautions in passing large ships moving and docking at Port Everglades
- During favorable weather paddlers may opt to paddle along the Atlantic, with rest stops at area beaches
Primary Campsites & Distances Between
- Oleta River State Park to Holland Park, 7 miles
- Holland Park to John U. Lloyd State Park boat ramp, 4.5 miles
- John U. Lloyd State Park boat ramp to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, 4.5 miles
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Miami-Dade Police: 305-4-POLICE
- Broward County Sheriff: 954-831-8900, 954-765-4321
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
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