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Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail

Big Bend Paddlers

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 as well as 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 runs from the Aucilla River to Yankeetown, spanning much of the Big Bend. 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

front cover of Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail map guide

Order online here

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. Included is information about the rich natural and cultural history of this region. The guide outlines the 155-mile trail including 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 Service's webpage for Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's webpage for the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.


For information on shuttles, lodging, restaurants and other opportunities in the communities along the entire Big Bend Trail, visit Natural North Florida.


Additional Resources


Mailing Address:
Wildlife Foundation of Florida
Big Bend Paddling Trail
P.O. Box 6181
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6181

Phone number:
(352) 620-7723

The  Frequently Asked Questions web page is an excellent resource for trail information. If you have a question, please check there first.


Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail Safety Video

The Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail offers an outstanding adventure for the experienced sea kayaker who is also comfortable with wilderness camping skills. Join Russell Farrow, world-class extreme paddler, as he outlines critical gear, safety issues, and training recommendations to make the BIg Bend Paddling Trail a safe experience.