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Matanzas River/Intracoastal Waterway - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: The Hammock, FL
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: kirkbull

Description:

This is a great spot to enjoy a day of paddling with an easy launch at a nice public ramp. Its an opportunity to explore some great unspoiled marshland and a chance to do some island hopping albeit very small islands. This trip began at a public boat ramp in the town of The Hammock. The Hammock is approximately 20 miles south of St Augustine Beach. Its just a few miles south of the historic Oceanarium Marineland on A1A.

The boat ramp that I put in at is called Bings Landing and is a county maintained ramp with nice bathroom and a picnic area. A word of caution though as with most boat ramps it is extremely slippery, so exercise caution when launching.

After launching I headed south along the western shoreline and a few hundred past the ramp I left the main waterway and started down a narrow channel that weaved through the marsh area. If fishing is your bag, they are plentiful with mullet and flounder among others. This salty creek snakes around and there are many sub branches to explore. There are lots of shell beds and oyster beds. There was a large Native American presence in this area at one time and you can appreciate the unspoiled marsh as being much the way they left it.

I paddled through this area for a while, its was low tide and some of the branches were mere inches, but was able to navigate most all of it without doing any dragging. I returned the way I came and went back into the main waterway and headed north this time. The best part of this are the small islands with there sandy beaches. You can paddle right up and explore. Campfires and trash evidenced some previous humans of course, but at the present it was just me and the 15 million or so fiddler crabs on the beach that would scurry away in retreat just in front of my advancing footsteps.

All in all it was a great way to spend a day on the water paddling and being outdoors to observe nature. There are some large boats on this waterway so be prepared to get rocked by their wake, but hey even that can be fun.

Directions:

From St Augustine beach head south on A1A aprox 20 miles to the town of The Hammock

Launches:

Public Boat Ramp at Bings Landing


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