Places to Paddle tm
Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting

Crane Creek, Melbourne FL
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Copyright 2000 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Art Littlefield, Village Outfitters, Cocoa FL
  • Date Submitted: 9/2000
  • Email:
  • Location: Crane Creek, Melbourne FL
  • Class: Typically flat water creek with wind driven waves on the Indian River launch point
  • Distance Paddled: 4 miles round trip
  • Water: fresh to brackish
  • Wildlife: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Pelican, Cormorant, Anhinga, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbill, Royal Tern, Manatee, Mullet, Red Fish, Stingray, Otter

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: From Interstate 95, take Hwy 192 East into Melbourne. Just past Babcock road, stay right and take New Haven Ave into old downtown Melbourne. As you cross the RR tracks you get a glimpse of Crane Creek to your left and down the hill. At US 1 turn south, cross the bridge over Crane Creek and then take a left at the second light into Melbourne Riverview Park. Go around the Pavilion and cross the road to the non-motorized boat ramp signed as Scurrahs Landing.
  • GPS: N 28 degrees 04.33 W 80 degrees 35.91
  • Fee: none
  • Description: Grassy non-motorized launch area lined by yellow posts.
  • Parking: park in the ample parking by the pavilion
  • Facilities: There are restrooms, picnic tables, and grills at a pavilion. A faucet and hose are also available for washing boats

What We Saw

Launch into the very shallow water and paddle NNW following the shoreline towards the channel markers and condominiums ahead. As you approach the channel, stay left and close to the green channel marker number 7 to avoid boat traffic entering and exiting the harbor. Pass The Chart House restaurant on the right and Florida Tech Marine Operations Center on the left as you enter Melbourne Harbor in the photo at left.

This is what gives Melbourne its "Harbor City" nickname. On the far right are more condos that have replaced the historic waterfront district on Front street that burned down long ago.

Turn West in the Harbor and pass the Florida Tech floating docks and Melbourne Yacht club on the left. Go under the bridge and continue SW past the the Manatee Promenade. Continue under the railroad bridge. Crane Creek widens here and paddlers are more affected by wind. Pass the wastewater treatment facility on the left and stay left at the fork just past there.
The creek narrows again and winds past cattails, leather ferns, Brazilian pepper, and a few more homes. After about a mile and a half, you pass a large brick home on the right. This was built in the mid 1990s on historic property once home to Melbourne's first permanent log cabin. Richard W. Goode and his family settled here in 1866, purchasing 153 acres from here westward to what is now Country Club Colony and the Melbourne Golf Course. The cost was $3.85. The Goode family was living there in 1880 when straws were drawn selecting the name Melbourne for their small community. John Cornwaith Hector, a settler from Australia had suggested the name Melbourne. Continuing upstream, the creek bends around South Bend, a large estate encompassing an entire oxbow. Alligators are sometimes seen upstream from here. Beyond a few more turns you come into a canopied jungle-like stretch that may make you forget you are still in Melbourne. But soon the traffic noise from Babcock road is a reminder. Go under the bridge at Babcock and watch your head on the low pipes during high water. If you are good at exiting your kayak on a high bank, then stop and enjoy the Florida Tech botanical gardens on the left. A trail leads through and on into Florida Tech. Return the way you came.