This is Segment 8, Region D. This segment marks the beginning of a long stretch of urbanized coastline as you head south, but don't let that discourage you. You'll still be able to enjoy natural surroundings at several parks including three premier Florida state parks: Anclote Key, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island.
The extensive Pinellas County Blueways provides additional paddling opportunities and trip options along the coast. Plus, on the interior, the Hillsborough River offers a leafy canopy long enjoyed by paddlers.
The coastal portion of segment 8 starts at Anclote Key, a 3-mile long uninhabited barrier island near Tarpon Springs.
Water around here is known to get rough during bad weather, so plan accordingly.
After leaving Anclote Key, make your way down a chain of spoil islands to the Dunedin Causeway. Honeymoon Island State Park rests at the end of the causeway and a little further south is Caladesi Island, best known for its soft white sand beaches.
South of Caladesi Island are the metropolitan cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Paddling this stretch affords you with many opportunities to pull over and rest, grab a bite to eat and even find a hotel for the night. For those preferring a tent to a hotel room, camping can be found on several spoil islands on the way to Fort De Soto Park.
No trip to the Pinellas Coast would be complete without visiting Anclote Key
45.5 miles of circumnavigational trail
1 state designated paddling trail
1 county blueways system
- Mostly urban environment
- Anclote Key is famous for challenging conditions during windy or stormy weather
- Long distance between camping locations
- Good availability of motels and hotels
- As with most South Florida segments, boat traffic can be heavy, especially on weekends
- The 17 Runs Section of the Hillsborough River is meant to remain a wilderness stretch of the river. It has numerous snags and side channels and should be attempted by experienced paddlers only.
Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail
- Anclote Key (north end) to spoil island # 13, 12 miles
- Spoil Island #13 to Island #BC 21, 17 miles
- Island #BC 21 to Fort De Soto Park Campground, 16.5 miles
- Pinellas County Blueways (8 different maps of paddling trails)
- Hillsborough River (31 miles)
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Pinellas County Sheriff: 727-582-6200
- Hillsborough County Sheriff: 813-247-8000
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
External Site Links