Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail

Aucilla boat ramp, Mandalay Road, Lamont, FL, USA

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Sea kayakers have long known of the multi-day expedition possibilities along Florida’s Big Bend Gulf Coast. This remote area boasts one of the longest and wildest publicly-owned coastal wetlands in the United States, and a striking array of bird and marine life.  Flocks of white pelicans zoom past in winter and great egrets dot marshy expanses, white as snowflakes. Bald eagles and ospreys entertain with their aerial maneuvers, and in the often clear waters one can spot fish, sea turtles and small rays in lush meadows of sea grass.

The Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail spans much of the Big Bend from the Aucilla River to Yankeetown. The northern 105-mile segment from the Aucilla to the Suwannee River is managed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A 40-page guide to the northern segment includes detailed maps and descriptions of the rich natural and cultural history of this region. Designated primitive campsites exclusively for trail users are spaced 10 to 14 miles apart and require permits. An overview map of the trail can be downloaded here.

To continue your journey through the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and on to Yankeetown visit this website: External Website

To experience and learn more about additional paddling opportunities in the region, be sure to attend the next Hidden Coast Paddling Adventure. External Website

Disclaimer: The Original Florida Tourism Task Force (dba VisitNatural Nroth Florida) and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council do not warrant the accuracy or timeliness of this map and paddle guide or the safety of this trail for use by paddlers.  Paddlers should use this trail only if they have the adequate skill level and dquipment, and paddlers must make that determination.  Paddlers should also check weather forecases and wter levels in advance to avoid any unnecessary danger.  The Original Florida Tourism Task Force, the local governments in which these paddling trails are located and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council are not responsible for any damages whatsoever from its use.