Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail
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 Suwanee River is managed by the FWC. The 55-mile segment from the town of Suwanee to Yankeetown offers the Shell Mound County Park, managed by Levy County, and three primitive campsites in the Waccasassa Preserve managed by the Florida Park Service.
Big Bend Saltwater Padding Trail Guide
The 50-page Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail guide contains detailed maps with GPS points, mileage figures and compass bearings to help you locate campsites and explore this fascinating coastline as well as information about the rich natural and cultural history of this region. As outlined in the guide, the 155-mile trail includes side trips to springs, wild rivers, historical sites, wildlife havens and small coastal towns. It is printed on durable, water-resistant paper and spiral bound for easy use in a kayak.
To continue your journey through the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and on to Yankeetown, visit the U. S. Fish and Wildlife's Lower Suwannee website. and the Circumnavigational Trail website.
For information on shuttles, lodging, restaurants and other opportunities in the communities along the entire Big Bend Trail, visit our tourist development organization partner, Natural North Florida.
To experience and learn more about ALL the paddling opportunities in this region, be sure to attend the next Hidden Coast Paddling Adventure.
- Overview Map
- Reserve site and obtain required free camping permits on Aucilla to Suwannee River segment: camping available September 1 through June 30.
- Big Bend Paddling Trail video.
Wildlife Foundation of Florida
Big Bend Paddling Trail
P.O. Box 6181
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6181
The Frequently Asked Questions web page is an excellent resource for trail information. If you have a question, please check there first.