Florida Paddling Trails Association
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Mosquito Lagoon/Upper St Johns

The famous St. Johns River begins in this segment and winds north through vast wetlands. At 310 miles, this is the longest river in Florida and one of the few in the country that flows north. For coastal paddlers, the Indian River Lagoon awaits!

Florida Cities: Cocoa, Titusville, New Smyrna Beach

Contact: Contact our Region K Director or Trailkeeper for more information by clicking here Click Here


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13 Locations in Mosquito Lagoon/Upper St Johns
Banana Riverrating321015/30/2010
Banana River Paddlewayrating312636/5/2010
Callisa Creekrating173417/21/2012
Crane Creek-1929012/11/2008
Cross Barge Canal Paddleway-2199210/26/2016
Eau Gallie Riverrating284726/18/2012
Lake Washington Waterway-2123012/11/2008
Merritt Island Paddleway-2205012/11/2008
Patrick Paddleway-1814012/11/2008
Sawgrass Paddleway-2273012/11/2008
Shipyard Island Canoe Trail-4270012/11/2008
South To Fox Paddleway-1782012/11/2008
Space Coast-249809/28/2008

This is Segment 22, Region K. The Indian River Lagoon is considered to be North America's most diverse estuary. Overlapping tropical and subtropical climates have created an ecosystem that supports more than 4,300 plants and animals. Another prime paddling area is Mosquito Lagoon, a place of unspoiled islands and tidal creeks that is sheltered from the Atlantic by Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island. This estuary is a vital nursery for fish, oysters, clams, shrimp and other sea life and, not surprisingly, it's one of Florida's most famous fishing grounds.

The famous St. Johns River begins in this segment and winds north through vast wetlands. At 310 miles, this is the longest river in Florida and one of the few in the country that flows north. While people have paddled the wild upper reaches of the St. Johns, there is no handy guidebook at the moment to help paddlers navigate.

The circumnavigational trail in this segment starts at Melbourne's Front Street Park and the first stretch involves paddling a relatively wide and straight part of Indian River Lagoon to Island #35, some 18 miles to the north.

The next overnight stop for long distance paddlers is Brevard County's Manatee Hammock Campground and then it's back in the boat and on to Titusville. Be sure to load up on freshwater, as there is no available source for the next two days.

Past Merritt Island and the John F Kennedy Space Center you'll reach Haulover Canal. This is the point where you'll need to cross into the Mosquito Lagoon and Canaveral National Seashore. Be sure to stop at the Eldora Statehouse and Shipyard Island. The terminus of this segment is Smyrna Dunes Park, 13 miles north of Shipyard Island.

81-82 miles of Circumnavigational Trail

Upper St. Johns River

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Environmental Considerations

  • Boat traffic can be heavy along the Intracoastal Waterway, especially on weekends and holidays
  • Paddling along the high energy East Coast shoreline is not recommended due to safety considerations. Conditions can change abruptly and there are few inlets to allow paddlers to move to more sheltered waters.
  • At Ponce Inlet, proceed with caution as currents are heavy and breakers will likely be encountered as you near the Atlantic
  • Access to certain areas near the John F Kennedy Space Center are restricted

Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail

  • Front Street Park in Melbourne to Island #35, 18 miles
  • Island #35 to Manatee Hammock Campground, 13.5 miles
  • Manatee Hammock Campground to Titusville railroad bridge, 10.5 miles
  • Titusville railroad bridge to River Breeze Park, 20 miles
  • River Breeze Park to Shipyard Island, 6 miles
  • Shipyard Island to Smyrna Dunes Park, 13-14 miles

Emergency Contacts

  • Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
  • Brevard County Sheriff: 321-264-5100, 321-633-7162
  • Volusia County Sheriff: 386-423-3888
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922

External Site Links

Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau

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