Kayaking - Canoeing - Rafting - Fishing - Surfing

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Al V

Spruce Creek,
Port Orange Florida USA
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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: KayakGuide.com
  • Date Submitted: 8/2009
  • Location: Port Orange (south of Daytona Beach) Florida USA
  • Class: 1 - Flat water for the most part but substantial current can occur after rainfall
  • Distance Paddled: variable round trip
  • Water: fresh
  • Wildlife: heron, alligator, live oak, Spanish Moss, cypress trees
  • Special Regulations: (none known)

Entry and Exit:

Cracker Creek
1795 Taylor Road
Port Orange, Florida, USA

  • Directions:
    • From Interstate 95 (I-95)
      • Exit 256 onto Taylor Road west
        • Drive 1.4 miles
      • Turn left (south) by the Cracker Creek sign
        • (opposite the Gamble Place sign on north side of Taylor Road)
        • Drive 0.4 miles to the entrance to Cracker Creek (past Gamble Place entrance)
      • Enter Cracker Creek and pay launch fee at the office
      • Proceed to launch drop site and parking
    • GPS: N29 05.366 W81 02.588 (actual)
  • Fee: $5 per boat launch fee
  • Description: Small dirt beach with boat drop off nearby
  • Parking: unpaved back up the road about 50 yards
  • Facilities: Great private park with a cafe, picnic areas, bathrooms, showers, kayak rentals, pontoon boat tours
  • Security: no known issues
  • Special Handicap Access:

Where We Paddled and What We Saw

After launching, we turned to the right to paddle upstream.

Nearby is the Cracker Creek dock where their tour boat takes tourists for nature trips along the creek.


As we paddled, the creek narrowed within the first half a mile and we were glad to be paddling under a lush canopy including cypress, oak, and palm trees.

Continuing upstream, where we saw a couple of docks on river right (to our left) at the base of a high bank, the river turned to the left and we began to feel a much stronger current in some areas.



Taking a break from paddling upstream against a current, we paddled off to the side into a quiet, beautiful lagoon under solid canopy where the roots of a fallen tree had become overgrown into a new island.

About a mile from the put-in we encountered some deadfalls partially blocking the creek. The strong current that day made these a challenge to paddle around, but also fun (wear your life-jacket).


We continued a bit further and decided to turn around as we were running short on time and wanted to kayak Spruce Creek downstream of the put-in.




After turning around and paddling downstream past the put-in, the river opened considerably.

There were more live oak trees draped with the Spanish Moss so common in Florida.


And Spruce Creek widened considerably with more private docks on the banks.

Signs of entry into the tidal area began to appear as we kayaked into grasses and hammocks typical of a tidal salt marsh.

Here we saw heron and other birds more comfortable in this open habitat.

It's also more common to see alligators in these open sunny areas where they like to warm themselves on banks with gentle slopes that ease their access to the water.

We paddled downstream to the County Road 4009 (CR 4009) bridge about 1.5 miles from the put-in.

We've also paddled all the way downstream about another 6 miles to the tidal mouth of Spruce Creek, a very different type of paddle with homes and docks on the north shore and the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve on much of the south shore. It's also possible to access Spruce Creek at its mouth from the east side of route US1, but beware of many sharp shell beds in that area especially during low tide.

For those of us that also like mountain biking, there is an excellent Sugar Mill Bike Trail system in the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve with both technical and easier trails that run right along the creek. Trailhead directions from I-95 are:
    • I-95 exit 84 onto SR 44 east
      • Travel 0.3 mile
    • Turn left onto Sugar Mill Road
      • Travel 1.2 mile
    • Turn left onto Pioneer Trail
      • Travel 1.6 mile
    • Turn right onto Turnbull Bay Road (just before I-95 over pass)
      • Travel 100 yards
    • Turn left onto Martins Dairy Road (unpaved)
      • Travel 1.2 mile until the road ends at the trailhead parking