Kayaking - Canoeing - Rafting - Fishing - Surfing


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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Art Littlefield
  • Date Submitted: 10/2000
  • Location: River Breeze Park in Oakhill FL south of Daytona Beach, on the Mosquito lagoon west of the Canaveral national Seashore
  • Class: Typically flat water tidal lagoon with areas exposed to wind and tidal currents that can be rapid and dangerous in areas
  • Distance Paddled: 4 miles round trip
  • Water: salt
  • Wildlife: Dolphin, Mullet, Red Fish, Jellyfish, Bald Eagle, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Ibis, White and Brown Pelican, Green Heron, Gulls, Terns, Succulents, Mangrove, Palm, Pine, Juniper, Prickly Pear Cactus

Entry and Exit

River Breeze Park
250 H.H. Burch Road
Oak Hill, Florida USA

  • Directions:
    • US 1
      • Just north of the town of Oak Hill, look for a large sign for River Breeze Park on the east side of US 1
      • About 41 miles north of the intersection of US1 and highway 520 in Cocoa
    • Turn east onto L.H. Burke Road at the sign
    • Follow the road to the park entrance on the left (north) side
  • GPS: N 28 degrees 53.908' W 80 degrees 51.111'
  • Fee: none
  • Description: cement boat ramps
  • Parking: adjacent paved
  • Facilities: restrooms with hot shower, picnic tables, trailer parking, playground, fishing pier

Click to Enlarge Enhanced Route Map

What We Saw

This route winds through channels and across some sections of open water in the northern part of Mosquito Lagoon and west of the Canaveral National Seashore.

After launching, paddle south past the large fishing pier, and cross the sometimes busy intracoastal waterway channel to the opening to the east just past the channel marker 100 yards or so south of the launch site. Turn east and then NNE across open water and follow the wide channel as it narrows in this direction. To the west you'll pass some bluffs with many prickly pear cactus and some juniper and cabbage palms.

To the east are low grassy looking islands (actually covered with succulents) with some scattered mangrove. These low islands provide little protection from the wind, but do cut down on the wave action.

After passing two or three channels to the right, take the wide channel that leads ESE. As you follow this channel, you can see Orange Island beyond the low islands on your left. It is easily distinguished from the other islands by it's tall pine, oak, and palm trees.

Avoid the temptation to take the several channels leading in that direction. These are dead-ends that lead to some interesting bird nesting areas, but not to Orange Island. We saw several white pelicans here since it was the cool time of year when they can be found in Florida. Also spotted were several Ibis, Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Wood Storks, all communing together.

Continue ESE, and take the third (or so) channel leading north (see the route on the satellite image). This channel is narrower and crosses shallow water into a small bay just south of Orange Island.

Now turn more to the NW and, as you skirt the shore of Orange Island, you'll see several straight channels leading into the island's interior. These are mostly connected, but we took one of the last ones which actually goes through the island to it’s northern shore. There is usually a beach with shady oaks just to the right after reaching the northern shore, but this day was so windy that the beach was submersed by tide and wind-driven waves

We returned into the shelter of the island channels and found a lunch spot with a rather swampy take-out, but some reasonably high bluffs for lunching, resting, and viewing the surrounding area.

GPS: N 28 degrees 54.910' W 80 degrees 50.278'

Here is where we spotted a lone Bald Eagle flying among the Osprey and being somewhat harassed by them. He was quite majestic nonetheless and the rare sighting was impressive. We returned by the same route, thankfully getting more help from the NW wind than on the way out.

On a calmer day on the northern shore of the island you should be able to see Turtle Mound and the historic town of Eldora about a mile to the NE along the Canaveral National Seashore. If you decide to paddle there, beware of motorboat traffic. The channel is deeper near the eastern shore and is actually the original site of the Intracoastal Waterway before it was re-routed along the western shore of the lagoon. One thing that makes the Orange Island trip special is the remote feel of the area since motorboats cannot navigate through the shallow channels that this route takes. There are lots of other paddling options from this same launch site and camping is possible on Orange Island. Camping permits can be obtained from Canaveral National Seashore in New Smyrna Beach at the south end of A1A.