Kayaking - Canoeing - Rafting - Fishing - Surfing

 

Thousand Islands, Cocoa Beach, Florida USA
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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 4/99
  • Location: Banana River, Cocoa Beach FL
  • Class: Typically flat water Mangrove wetland canals
  • Distance Paddled: Varied; many, many possible routes to explore
  • Water: brackish
  • Wildlife: Many types of birds (Egrets, Herons, Ospreys, Eagles, Ibis, Pelicans, etc.), alligators, fish (redfish, sea trout, etc.), Mangroves

Entry and Exit at Cocoa Beach Country Club

  • Directions: Country Club is at 5098 Tom Warriner Blvd.
    • From US1
    • Turn east onto Route 520 and travel about 7.5 miles
      • Cross the causeway over the Indian River
      • Continue east across Merritt Island (past Merritt Square Mall)
      • Cross the causeway over the Banana River
    • Turn right (south) onto A1A south and continue about 2.7 miles
      • A1A will separate into northbound and southbound lanes
    • Turn right (west) onto Minutemen Causeway
    • Continue west about 1.3 mile passing the high school
    • Make the only left turn onto Tom Warriner Blvd.
    • Follow the road around to the NE corner of parking lot next to swimming pool.
  • Fee: none
  • Description: Small floating dock with adjacent small beach and additonal nearby small grassy beaches.
  • Parking: Adjacent, paved
  • Facilities: Restrooms, play area, covered picnic tables, golf

Entry and Exit at Ramp Road Park

  • Directions:
    • From US1
    • Turn east onto Route 520 and travel about 7.5 miles
      • Cross the causeway over the Indian River
      • Continue east across Merritt Island (past Merritt Square Mall)
      • Cross the causeway over the Banana River
    • Turn right (south) onto A1A south and continue about 2.7 miles
        • A1A will separate into northbound and southbound lanes
    • Turn right (west) onto 5 th Street west (1 or 2 blocks only)
    • Turn left (south) onto North Brevard Avenue.
    • Take North Brevard Avenue south about 100 feet to Ramp Road west.
    • Turn right (west) onto Ramp Road to Ramp Road Park at the end.
  • GPS: N 28 deg 18.213' W 080 deg 37.244' (actual)
  • Fee: none
  • Description: 2 paved boat ramps
  • Parking: Adjacent, paved
  • Facilities: Restrooms, play area, covered picnic tables

Click to Enlarge

What We Saw

One could spend a lifetime paddling the 1000 Islands and still not see everything. If you look at the aerial view at left you'll see why. There are so many possible channels and islands to explore.

Though you're never far from the launch point, we recommend taking a compass to help you get back quickly. It's easy to become disoriented exploring all the channels. Sometimes you can see a high church steeple to help point you back to the launch area just north of the steeple.

Fishing is often excellent in the shallow flats throughout the islands. At times, the area teems with Redfish and Sea Trout.

We've even seen the occasional alligator or Manatee.

There are many Mangrove tunnels and narrow channels to explore. We usually take the channel opposite the southernmost launch ramp heading west. You can see on the aerial that it splits. We normally take the southern (left hand) fork to its end. Then we look for openings in the banks of Mangroves that line the islands and explore as many as we can.

You may also paddle out to the Banana River, the eastern most of two brackish rivers that form Merritt Island, which you can see on the river's west bank. (The other river is the Indian River which joins the Banana River a few miles south in Indian Harbour Beach.)

Many species of birds frequent the area almost year round. We've seen predatory birds like Ospreys and Eagles as well as Great Blue Herons, Egrets, and Pelicans.