Below you’lll find a list of some of our favorite local spots for fishing, camping, exploring, viewing wildlife and relaxing–without the crowds.
Spoil Islands – Indian River Lagoon Brevard County, Fl
Some of the most fun and rewarding recreation in Brevard county can be experienced by exploring the “spoil Islands”, a chain of islands in the Indian River Lagoon. The spoil islands were created many years ago when the river bed was dredged to create a channel for large vessels to pass. The material that was dredged, or the “spoil”, was simply piled along the edge of the channel, eventually creating the islands. Since then, the islands have taken on their own identity, and their own eco systems. The islands span many miles of Florida’s coast over four counties. Here in Brevard County, the islands are easily accessible by canoe or kayak, and offer great opportunities for camping, fishing or simply exploring, laying on a pristine beach and discovering something new.
Sebastian Inlet / Saint Sebastian River – Sebastian, Fl
Sebastian Inlet State Park covers over 750 acres and its various nooks are considered some of the best and most beautiful fishing grounds in Brevard. The inlet, at high tide, allows pristine clear blue/green Atlantic waters to flow into every surrounding crevice, making for truly exotic scenery. Entrance into the park surrounding the actual inlet requires a fee; however there are several other places in very close proximity where canoes or kayaks can be launched. Fishing the shallow waters along the mangroves or beaching at one of the multiple spots along the calm channels can make a perfect day. Directly across the lagoon channel is the mouth of the Saint Sebastian River, which as you move inland, offers a whole new experience. Mangroves and Sea grapes turn to mossy oaks and ferns, and you may even encounter otters or alligators.
Mullet Creek – Floridana Beach, Fl
About five miles north of Sebastian Inlet State Park on the east side of the Indian River Lagoon are a series of canals and islands that were created by mosquito control efforts in the 1950’s. The waterways here have come to be called Mullet Creek. The creek and surrounding islands offer a quiet and peaceful paddle protected from the winds, and most of the islands offer private and serene places to beach or fish. It is very common to see manatees, and large schools of dolphin that come to feed on the mullet. Pelicans love to congregate in, and even bald eagles can be seen in the majestic dancing Austrailian Pines that line the waterways.
Turkey Creek – Palm Bay, Fl
Turkey creek sanctuary covers 130 acres, most of which is protected under Brevard County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) project. First established and protected in 1994, the sanctuary includes some of Florida’s most beautiful, quiet and biodiverse nature. Turkey creek winds through the heart of the sanctuary, and is easily one of the most peaceful kayaking or canoeing experiences in the area. Under primarily old oak and pine hammocks, this creek is rich with diverse wildlife and is an important breeding ground for fresh and saltwater species. The creek is one of the best places in the area to observe the Florida Manatee in its natural habitat, particularly around the boat launch at Goode Park. You are also very likely to see alligators, otters, and several dazzling species of fish. Fishing is allowed in certain areas; consult the (website) for regulations.
Crane Creek – Melbourne, Fl
The mouth of Crane Creek is situated along Front Street in the historic downtown Melbourne area. At just over 3 miles long, the creek winds inland through beautiful and historic old growth, and is another of the more peaceful and quiet kayaking or canoeing runs. Not only will this run almost guarantee sightings of diverse wildlife and offer promising fishing opportunities, the area also has a rich archeological history. If you are interested in hunting for fossils or artifacts, you may just get lucky along the banks of this peaceful waterway.
Jungle Trail Kayak Launch – 15 miles north of Vero Beach
The historic Jungle Trail, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally a sandy road built in the 1920s for the citrus growers on the barrier island (called Orchard Island). Starting at the north end off of Highway A1A in Wabasso Beach, the trail passes through hammocks of palms and other coastal wetland species, as well as gated communities, spectacular homes and the shores of Indian River Lagoon. Along the road there are several primitive spots to launch your paddle boat and head out into another peaceful area of the Indian River Lagoon for a great day on the water. If you want to take a break from the water, you can also find many other hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities along the trail, including Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Stick Marsh – Fellsmere, Fl
The Saint John’s Water Management Area, affectionately known to local anglers as the “Stick Marsh”, is a 6,500 acre impoundment located close to the Brevard/Indian River County line which is renowned for fresh water sport fishing. The most common species of fish found here are Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie and several species of catfish. The waters here have become some of the most excellent for Bass fishing, likely due to the special no-harvest rule in effect for Largemouth Bass. In addition to the superior fishing opportunities, a day on a paddle vessel offers vast opportunities for leisure, sightseeing and relaxation.