Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting - Fishing

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Al V

Turkey Creek - Palm Bay, FL USA
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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 4/99
  • Email:
  • Location: Palm Bay, Florida
  • Class: Flat water Creek with a typically light current against you on the beginning leg
  • Distance Paddled: 8 miles round trip (1 hour each way)
  • Water: brackish
  • Wildlife: Manatees, birds (Egrets, Herons, etc.), alligators, turtles, Water Moccasins, Mangroves, slat marsh grasses, scrub oaks

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: US 1, West on Port Malabar Blvd., North on Bianca to Harry Goode Park
  • GPS: N 28 deg 01.803' W 080 deg 34.988'
  • Fee: none
  • Description: paved boat ramps and floating docks
  • Parking: Adjacent
  • Facilities: Restrooms at Harry Goode Park and at the Turkey Creek Sanctuary wildlife museum on trails from the canoe takeout and turn around point. Refreshments and water are also available.

What We Saw

As we paddled westward from the park, we saw turtles sunning themselves on logs and several manatees. The creek narrowed as we passed under a road bridge and entered the Turkey Creek Sanctuary area. The creek turned back and forth under a nice canopy past high sand bluffs, a unique geological characteristic of this creek.

On one trip, my son and I watched a young manatee with its head completely out of the water nibbling on some bushes in this area.

Please stay in your kayak or canoe throughout the sanctuary until you arrive at the park's canoe takeout shown at left. You may get out there and take a hike along a nature trail on elevated boardwalks along the sand bluffs overlooking the creek (see below) or to the park office where there is a small, excellent museum of local wildlife, refreshments, and a restroom.

We ate lunch on shady benches on the boardwalk nature trail overlooking the creek.

After lunch, we continued up the creek (with a paddle) about a quarter of a mile to the foot of a dam that marks the end of the kayak trail. This area is almost always full of manatees, so proceed with care to avoid scaring these large, gentle creatures.

Heading back down the creek, it widened into areas with high grasses on both sides. We've seen alligators in these areas as well as the large water moccasin shown at left, sunning itself in the grass.

Turkey Creek is a great kayak trip for the family with wonderful wildlife and a great park to visit at the turnaround point.

You can read about Palm Bay Florida or learn about it's wildlife and geography while you're earning your online degrees but in order to really experience it you need to visit. It truly is a beautiful place.