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Latest update: August 2021

Canaveral National Seashore (North)...

Paddling at Mosquito Lagoon

Canaveral National Seashore's North District, is reached from New Smyrna Beach - continue south on A1A to the national seashore's north entrance. From the north entrance, the road continues another 7 miles - there is no south exit, you have to return the same way. In this area you will see Florida at its most natural, as it was before development - Canaveral National Seashore is the longest pristine shoreline in Florida, extending 24 miles from Ponce Inlet to Titusville. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Information here is subject to change due to storm damage, maintenance, or seashore regulations. Check for current conditions and closures

paddle Canaveral National 
		    Seashore, New Smyrna Beach, kayak, canoe

Distance: Varies
Location: Volusia County (New Smyrna Beach)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Boat ramps inside the park entrance and at Beach Parking Lot 5; kayak/canoe launches inside the park entrance, behind the Visitor Center, at Lot 5 and along the Eldora/River Rd. Loop. (See map)
Nearby points of interest: New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Kennedy Space Center


JB's Fish Camp (rentals)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Canaveral

Paddling at Canaveral National Seashore (North)... Comments and Photos

There is much paddling available on Mosquito Lagoon (watch for motor boats) and winding through the islands of the national seashore - some are mangrove, others are oak and palm hammock. When paddling through the islands, it's easy to get lost so GPS and/or a good map is recommended. Watch the tides, at low tide it may be necessary to pull your kayak or canoe in some areas - and watch for oyster beds.


Near the entrance station

The boat ramp and kayak/canoe launch just past the entrance station across from Lot 1 are directly across from Shipyard Island - parking, restrooms. No fee.

Behind the Visitors Center

Parking, picnic, restrooms, dock/pier, gift shop, interpretative exhibits, vending machines. The launch is open to individuals, but kayaks/canoes at the launch are for registered campers only. Park fee applies.


Parking Lot 5

Lot 5 has parking, restrooms, beach access, boat ramp and kayak/canoe launch - easy on and off. From here the water is wider and more popular with fishermen. Park fee applies.


Parking Lots 6-7

Along the Eldora/River Rd. loop, Lot 6 involves a 50-yard carry on a narrow path and a steep drop-off so Lot 7 is a better choice - easy on/easy off. Park fee applies.



Mosquito Lagoon

After paddling at Shipyard Island (see link below), we continued onto the upper section of Mosquito Lagoon, toward New Smyrna Beach, and then along the National Seashore past Turtle Mound and the Visitor Center. We saw some dolphin, but missed the photo.

Apollo Beach

Apollo Beach is on the ocean side, accessed across the dunes from several parking lots. Here we cross the dune to the beach from Lot 4. Few people this day - a beautiful slice of paradise!


Wildlife include a large number of shore and wading birds (popular with birdwatchers), dolphin, manatee, turtles, snakes, and more. Fishing is abundant. The park protects 15 species of threatened or endangered animals.

More Information and Resources

About Canaveral National Seashore:

Some sites to visit are Turtle Mound which at 50 feet high is one of the tallest shell mounds on Florida's east coast, and the Eldora State House which is all that remains of the village of Eldora, an old fishing and agricultural center. Visitors should be aware that the area south of parking Lot 5 is a "clothing optional" beach. Camping is available, registration is required.

To access the southern area of the National Seashore, launch from Seminole Rest Park at Oak Hill or from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. For paddling we like the north region with its small islands and the like, in the south Mosquito Lagoon gets bigger and more popular with fishermen. Playalinda Beach is at the southern tip of Canaveral National Seashore where Kennedy Space Center begins.

Wildlife include alligators, turtles, and crabs, and many fish. Birds include hawks, eagles, and osprey as well ibis and other water birds. In Mosquito Lagoon, dolphins are a common sight.

Nearby Paddling:

Shipyard Island (Canaveral National Seashore-north)
Merritt Island NWR (Canaveral National Seashore-south)
Callalisa Creek (New Smyrna Beach)
See FL East-Central Region for more paddling

Nearby Biking:

Biking at New Smyna Beach

Related Resources:

National Park Service - Canaveral National Seashore

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