Places to Paddle tm
Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting



St. Lucie Inlet State Park, Stuart, FL USA
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Copyright 2004 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 6/2004
  • Location: Stuart, FL USA
  • Class: 1
  • Distance Paddled: 6 miles
  • Water Level: Tidal. NOTE that the interior channels are only navigable at high tide.
  • Water: salt
  • Wildlife: Mangroves, Morning Glory (beach flowers), fiddler crabs, ibis, heron, pelicans, terns, mullet, osprey, beautiful spiders, mosquitoes (in the mangroves)
  • Special Regulations: none

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: Interstate 95 Exit onto 76 east. About 1/4 mile, turn right onto Cove Road and follow it about 5 miles to the end where there is a small park on the water.
  • Fee: none
  • Description: small sandy beach
  • Parking: adjacent unpaved
  • Facilities: a few covered picnic tables and trash containers
  • Handicap Access: sandy beach

What We Saw

This trip was a lot of fun because of the beach swim, mangrove tunnels and channels, and the tidal pool called the "Hole in the Wall".

The enhanced aerial at left has the GPS coordinates that follow below numbered in the sequence we paddled.

We began by paddling south from the put in to the mouth of an artificial, mangrove lined channel leading east to wider interior lakes. (see photo at right)

N27 degrees 08.396' W80 degrees 09.610' West mouth of the east-west channel

2-N27 degrees 08.588' W080 degrees 09.213' East mouth of the east-west channel south of Cove Road.

Then we paddled south and then east to the small landing shown at left.

N27 degrees 08.514' W080 degrees 09.065'

There is a path that leads to the beach a fairly short walk to the east.

We had the beautiful beach to ourselves. Purple Morning Glory flowers grew on long, thin vines over the sand. After a long swim, we enjoyed the quiet of our private beach and watched sport fishing boats trying their luck offshore.

Returning to the boats we'd left at the landing, we kayaked north to the small, south entrance to a Mangrove tunnel shown in the photo at right at

N27 degrees 09.055' W080 degrees 09.436'

About halfway up, we paddled under a wooden bridge that leads from the docks on the intercoastal waterway on the west to the state park beach on the east.

N27 degrees 09.162' W080 degrees 09.511' bridge

Continuing northwest, we entered a channel that leads directly to the St. Lucie Inlet.

N27 degrees 09.600' W080 degrees 10.055' South entrance to north-south channel to the inlet

There was quite a bit of recreational motorboat traffic on the inlet, but there was plenty of room to paddle.

Once in the inlet, we paddled north a short distance into a stiff breeze and slight current. Note that the current can be substantial if the tide is changing.

We paddled to the mouth of a small channel shown at left at

N27 degrees 09.811' W080 degrees 10.035'

There was a rocky shoal line of rocks that blocked the entrance to the channel until we paddled past it eastward to a deeper part of the mouth where we entered and paddled south. This is the "Hole in the Wall".

We kayaked south a short distance into the restful tidal pool shown at right. Numerous birds such as the small Heron below searched for food in the shallow waters of the pool. Leaving the kayaks on a sand bar, we waded through the warm waters of the tidal pool near the inlet channel.

We also found a small, dilapidated shack at the east end of the pool, but when I landed to explore it, I was turned back by a swarm of mosquitoes.

Paddling west and then south, we returned to the put in and relived a nice day with refreshments at the picnic tables.