The Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to protect and preserve the lands and waters in the public trust. While this is often accomplished through legal means, we determined that there was a need for comprehensive guides to entice recreational paddlers to explore and enjoy the many beautiful waterways in and around Jacksonville. This guide focuses on the sea islands in between the St. Johns River and the Nassau River in north-eastern Duval County. The guide is a companion piece to the Jacksonville Intracoastal Salt Marsh Paddling Guide, which focuses on the Intracoastal Waterway and associated waters from the St. Johns River south to the Duval County/St. Johns County line.
The creation of this Paddling Guide was made possible through a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Coastal Management Program, and the generous assistance of our supporting partners. Many thanks go out to our Partners – The City of Jacksonville and Kayak Amelia. Without their support in the form of documents, equipment, knowledge and financial assistance, this project would not have been nearly as successful.
Thank you as well to the following partners, who helped us in the following ways with the project: Patti Cross with Tom Cross, Inc., for creating this masterpiece of a guide; Steve Carey with Ocean Web Design, for designing and hosting this website; Captain Russell and Janet Tharin with Fly Fishing Amelia Island, Jack Zievis with Red Sail Photography, Wes Lester, and Mick Shea for donating numerous stunning photographs; Barbara Holmes-Fryefield for creating and donating the striking “Waterway Critters” illustrations. All photographs and illustrations are owned and copyrighted by the artists. These photographs and illustrations may not be used without the express permission of the artists.
About the Guide
The guide consists of a map and narrative description of the network of waterways running between the Nassau River and the St. Johns River in north-eastern Duval County. We hope this guide and website will encourage people to use and enjoy the natural resources in the area. The waterway trails depicted on the map may be enjoyed anywhere from an hour to a full day, and most are accessible by both the experienced and novice paddlers. The parks highlighted in the guide can also be enjoyed on foot.
The map includes launch points (most of which have a nominal $1 - $4 user’s fee), amenities available at the parks, and GPS coordinates for the trails. Some of the areas have strong currents and/or heavy boat traffic, so be careful! The map contains several different warning markers and these warnings should be taken into consideration by all paddlers. Watch the tides closely, as some of the waterways become dry during low tides, and paddlers may become stranded until the tide comes in again.