Paddle Florida®

Over 100 Florida Paddling Destinations

E-Z Maps... Photos... Reports...

You are here > Home > East-Central Florida > Spruce Creek
Latest update: November 2016

Spruce Creek... Florida

Paddling near Daytona and New Smyrna Beach

Spruce Creek, an Outstanding Florida Waterway, is a natural blackwater creek - tannic acid from swampy vegetation stains the water black at its inception in the upper creek. The upper creek is scenic and tree lined with freshwater vegetation. As it approaches I-95, the creek widens, becomes brackish saltwater, and lined by marsh and mudflats. The Creek gradually merges into Strickland Bay. (Detailed map and photos below.)

paddle Spruce 

Spruce Creek Paddling Map

View Larger Map

Distance: Varies. Official trail is 8 miles, but most paddling is out and back from launch
Location: Volusia County (Port Orange)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes, especially closer to the coast
Launch points: Spruce Creek Park (I-95 Exit 256, east one mile); Strickland Bay bridge (US 1, 5 miles north of New Smyrna Beach); Cracker Creek (Taylor Road, Port Orange) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Gamble Place, Spruce Creek Mound, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach


Cracker Creek  (rentals, tours)

Kayak Atlantic Waters  (rentals, tours)

 Page Summary:

  1. Paddling on Spruce Creek
    - Cracker Creek upstream
    - Cracker Creek to I-95 bridge
    - Strickland Bay
    - Spruce Creek Park
  2. More Information and Resources

Paddling on Spruce Creek... Comments and Photos

Mostly an easy paddle, with a couple more technical areas upstream where it narrows and subject to obstacles in the water. The creek has a remote feel, especially upstream and as it passes through Spruce Creek Preserve, but development is not far away - homes and docks are seen along much of the creek. Lots of wildlife including waterbirds, alligators.

Cracker Creek upstream

We launched for a modest fee at Cracker Creek and paddled a short distance upstream until stopped by logs. Paddling here is subject to water levels and weather can play a role - on this trip, a recent hurricane had deposited a lot of debris yet to be cleared.

Cracker Creek to I-95 bridge

From Cracker Creek, we then paddled downstream to the I-95 bridge. Upriver the creek is narrow and shady with some canopy. As we approached I-95, it widened, the water became brackish, and the shoreline marshy. We paddled past the Russell Property, a public park that can be accessed only from the creek (at this writing) - kayak dock makes this a convenient stop to stretch and picnic.

Strickland Bay

At Strickland Bay, the creek is wide and open. Strickland Bay converges with Turnbull Bay and accesses the Indian River/Intracoastal Waterway. Members of our group rented from the outfitter, while we launched our own kayaks for a fee. We paddled around Strickland Bay, open water with some cuts along the shoreline. At low tide, watch out for the oyster bars.

Spruce Creek Park

Spruce Creek Park has a boardwalk, nature trails, observation tower, fishing pier, playground, and picnicking. We visited the launch to plan for a future trip. Muddy and unusable at low tide.

More Information and Resources

 View great paddling by FL Region or Listed A - Z

peace-paddle-florida Find Florida's Best Recreational Paddling,
by Kayak, Canoe, and Paddleboard too.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Paddle Florida®