Backcountry Camping
Watercraft Access
Space Coast North
Note; The sites listed below feature opportunities for primitve backcountry camping in a remote, wilderness setting. Facilities and or Utilities at these campsites will either be very limited or non existent and you are responsible for your own well being. All food, water, and other neccesities must be self provided and all trash packed out.
 
Mainland
 
Econlockhatchee River
Econlockhatchee River is one of the last unspoiled rivers in Central Florida, and can be paddled in three sections.
The first section (9 miles), which starts at State Road 50 west of Titusville can be difficult, but is probably the most beautiful section to paddle under a junglelike canopy of cyprus. Water levels are highly variable on the Econ, as it is called by locals. Expect lots of portages at low water. At high water, the current is strong and the actual course of the river is hard to determine. There are lots of sharp bends and getting lost afloat among half submerged trees is a distinct possibilty and river reading skills are an absolute necessity. Strainers should be expected and of course, avoided. At middle water levels this can be an absolutly beautiful paddle. Call Hidden River Park at (407) 568-5346 and ask for Don for river conditions. The park also provides rentals and a shuttle service for at least sections one and two.

The second (and the most popular) section begins at County Road 419 near Oviedo where the river opens up to reveal 15 foot high sandy banks lined with oaks and cabbage palms. There is a parking area just off the north side of CR-419 on Willingham Road. Check the river for wildflowers in this area. There may be weed jams in this area, portages are difficult in some sections due to the high banks. there are places along this stretch to pull out and picnic and plenty of wildlife to be seen. This is considered a classic Central Florida paddle. Take out for this section will be at Snow Hill Road, and shuttle services can be arranged through Hidden River Park. This section is within the Little Big Econ State Forest and Primitive camping for canoeists is available with a special-use permit which can be obtained from the State Forest office.

Below the Snow Hill Road bridge, the banks are lower, while cypress trees and clusters of cabbage palms line the banks. About 6 miles later the river as the tree-lined banks give way to pasture land and the marshes of the St. John's River. Stay in the boat here as much of the land is in private hands. About 3 miles later, the Econ enters the St. Johns. Turn left once entering the St John's and paddle 1.5 miles to the S.R. 46 bridge, which is clearly visible from the mouth of the Econ. The takeout is at the northwest corner of the bridge. This last section from Snow Hill Road to the takeout at State Road 46 totals about 11 miles. Care should be taken on the St John's due to the possibilty of heavy powerboat and airboat traffic.
Space Coast Birding Site
Out in the Boonies Site
Out in the Boonies Map
SJRWMD Website
Florida Dept of Forestry Website
Florida Dept of Forestry Trails Map PDF
GPS SR 50, Hidden River Park N 28 34.029 W 81 09.393
Google Satellite Image SR 50, Hidden River Park
GPS CR419
N 28 39.318 W 81 10.099
Google Satellite Image CR 419
GPS Snow Hill Road
N 28 40.636 W 81 06.831
Google Satellite Image Snow Hill Road
GPS SR 46 takeout
N 28 42.897 W 81 02.140
Google Satellite Image SR 46 Takeout

 
Canaveral National Seashore
 

Canaveral National Seashore; (North District)
There are two distinct districts with two separate entrances and you cannot drive between the two. The North or Apollo District is accessed from New Symrna Beach in Volusia County while the South or Playalinda District is accessed from Titusville.
Owned by NASA, this property is managed by the National Park Service and protects roughly 26 miles of Atlantic Ocean Shoreline and provides nesting grounds for up to 7 species of sea turtles while protecting natural dunes, coastal strand scrub, salt marsh and other wetlands, and virtually the entire body of the Mosquito Lagoon. Over 300 species of birds have been seen at the seashore from gulls, pelicans, ducks, herons, egrets, terns, gannets, assorted shorebirds, and raptors, to painted buntings, migratory songbirds in the hammock areas and scrubjays just inside the north district entrance. The showcase paddling experience here is the.............
Shipyard Island Canoe Trail; Mosquito Lagoon;
The northern end of Mosquito Lagoon at Canaveral National Seashore is a virtual maze of islands and channels and is a great paddling destination. In fact, Outside Magazine rates the Mosquito Lagoon as one of the top ten paddling destinations in the United States. A primary feature for paddling the north district is the Shipyard Island Canoe Trail. Accessible due west from the boat ramp located just inside the North District Gate on the right hand side of the road, the marked canoe trail travels through the numerous waterways that honeycomb this large island, leftovers from mosquito control efforts in the 1940s and '50s. Higher than surrounding mangrove islands, Shipyard Island is shaded with oak trees, red cedars and cabbage palms. Oysterbeds, mangrove shorelines, and seagrass beds abound while designated backcountry campsites provide overnight, leave no trace, primitive camping opportunities in a unique Florida Wilderness, while white sandy beaches not accessible by motorboats due to the shallows invite day picnics. A list of Camping Island for Canaveral National Seashore is just below.
Camping Brochure Note; shows campsites in addition to the Shipyard Island Canoe Trail
Mosquito Lagoon Brochure Shipyard Island Canoe Trail map on page two.
Map of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore
North Brevard Business Directory Website
GPS of Shipyard Island Trail Boatramp / Launch Site;

N 28 56.063 W 80 49.761
Google Satellite Image

List of all Camping Islands of Canaveral National Seashore

Note;

On Google Satellite Maps, the reference point is the green arrow, not the red marker.

Campsite
Satellite
GPS
Orange Island

N 28 54.777

W 80 49.760

Homestead

N 28 54.982

W 80 50.285

Shipyard Island

N 28 56.461

W 80 50.692

Headwinds

N 28 56.278

W 80 50.695

Government Cut

N 28 57.044

W 80 51.874

Jones Canal

N 28 55.140

W 80 51.545

Brickhouse Cove

N 28 54.926

W 80 51.427

Bissette

N 28 53.663

W 80 50.827

Middle Dredge

N 28 51.973

W 80 49.598

South Middle Dredge

N 28 51.852

W 80 49.485

Scout Island

N 28 51.502

W 80 49.595

South Dredge Island

N 28 50.897

W 80 49.240

Eastwinds

N 28 50.689

W 80 49.091

County Line Campsite

N 28 50.475

W 80 48.952

Additional Canaveral Seashore Island Camping Access Points
 
River Breeze Park
Volusia County's Riverbreeze Park is the closest launch for access to dozens of islands that fill the waterway from Oak Hill northward to the New Smyrna Beach Causeway and beyond. From the boat ramp, paddle south to get around a large spoil island and into mangrove-lined backcountry waters. Low tide exposes mud flats and oyster bars that in fall, winter and spring attract a wide variety of wading birds and shorebirds; American oystercatchers are fairly easy to find. Dolphins and manatees are commonly seen in the deeper waters of the intra-coastal waterway. A compass is helpful as it is easy to become disoriented in the puzzling maze of waterways found here. This beautifully shaded park has bathrooms, picnic pavilions and several boat ramps. Camping is permitted as the park is close to several of the island campsites within the National Seashore. A backcountry permit is still required from the National Seashore even though you are not using the seashore entrance. Just accross the Intracoastal and just south of the park is a channel leading between two islands. The Island on the south side has a campsite called Bissette Bay campsite.

Directions: To reach Riverbreeze Park, go north on US 1 two miles from the yellow caution light in Oak Hill. Look for a brown sign identifying the park. Go east to the park entrance on the left. Visit volusia.org/parks/riverbreeze.htm or call 386-345-5525 for information.
Satellite Photo of River Breeze Park and Bissette Bay Campsite
GPS
N 28 53.719 W 80 51.239
Google Satellite Image

 
Lefil's Oak Hill Fish Camp
480 East Halifax Avenue
Oak Hill , Florida 32759
Phone: 904 345-3127
Putting in here allows access to several more islands designated for Camping in the Mosquito Lagoon within the Canaveral National Seashore. The first is Middle Dredge Island Campsite on the island just south of the fish camp, followed by 5 more campsites to the south.
Satellite Photo of Intracoastal Waterway Campsite Locations within Canaveral National Seashore

GPS N 28 53.722 W 80 51.239
Google Satellite Image
 

Indian River Lagoon Spoil Island Project Camping

 
Between 1953 and 1962, the Intracoastal Waterway was dredged through the Indian River Lagoon in order to provide an inshore shipping lane up the east coast of the United States with a depth of 12 feet. The sand and other bottom sediment was simply dumped to one side of the channel as the dredging progressed. Over time these "Spoil Islands", as they are called developed a cover of native and exotic vegetation and became miniature ecosystems unto themselves. As more of the natural shoreline of the Indian River Lagoon was developed, many of this birds began moving to these spoil islands to hatch and raise their young and some of these islands have become important rookery islands. Of the 137 islands within the four county area of the Indian River Lagoon, 125 of them are now owned by the State of Florida and are managed by the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND). The various islands have been given divided into four classifications based on the native habitat found and their ability to support various recreational pursuits.
The classifications are as follows.....
Conservation; These islands have the highest levels of native habitat in and around the islands, and many have become established bird rookeries. These island have a "Do Not Land" policy. Do not approach by boat or kayak closer than 100 yards from Febuary through August.
Education; An island with this classification has a high ecological diversity and is somewhat sensitive to human intrusion. However they do make a great educational resource.
There are two subgroups of Recreation Islands, Passive and Active. On these islands the ecological value is minimal, they have little or no seagrass beds around them, harbor no endangered or threatend species, and typically have at least one side with water deep enough to make an approach by boat.
Passive Recreation islands are suitable for day use such as exploring and picnicing. They are typically not large enough or too densely vegetated to support the development of structures for camping, so there will be no facilities whatsoever on the island, However, primative camping is allowed.
Acitve Recreation Islands are large enough and have enough open areas support the building of structures such as sanitary facilities, campsites, fire pits, docks, etc, to support overnight camping.
Recreation Islands
Island
Use Designation
Satellite Imagery
GPS
BC -1
Conservation

N 28 43.590

W 80 46.181

BC-2
Passive

N 28 43.269

W 80 46.593

BC-4
Passive

N 28 42.587

W 80 47.422

BC-5
Conservation

N 28 42.194

W 80 47.844

BC-6
Conservation

N 28 41.851

W 80 48.256

Island
Use Designation
Satellite Imagery
GPS
BC-8
Passive

N 28 40.907

W 80 48.540

BC-9
Passive

N 28 40.475

W 80 48.522

BC-10
Passive

N 28 40.012

W 80 48.310

BC-11
Passive

N 28 39.560

W 80 48.189

BC-14
Passive

N 28 38.286

W 80 48.164

BC-15
Passive

N 28 37.856

W 80 47.952

Island
Use Designation
Satellite Imagery
GPS
BC-28
Education

N 28 24.486

W 80 43.800

BC-30
Passive

N 28 24.467

W 80 43.549

 
Space Coast North
Space Coast Central
Space Coast South
Watercraft Access