Gulf Islands National Seashore (Florida) | PADDLING

Paddling in Big Lagoon at Perdido Key

Paddling in Big Lagoon at Perdido Key

Given that the entire Florida unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore is islands in the ocean, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of places to canoe and kayak. The best opportunities will be on the calmer waters of the bay. You can launch trips into Pensacola Bay, Santa Rosa Sound, Big Lagoon at Perdido Key, and Choctawhatchee Bay at Okaloosa Beach.

Launching into Big Lagoon from the Johnson Beach Boat Ramp at Perdido Key, you can paddle to the east end of the island where you will find the ruins of Battery 233, a World War II-era concrete battery. Also, though now at the bottom of the ocean just off the coast, is Fort McRee. Built in 1837, the fort ended up in the water due to erosion and the shifting sands of the barrier islands. Snorkelers and SCUBA divers can see the rubble on the ocean floor.

The Boat Ramps web page has information on all of the boat launch sites in the Florida unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore. If there is no ramp near to where you would like to depart, as long as you can get to the water (by parking legally), you can launch your hand-paddled watercraft.

Paddling near the fishing pier at the Fort Pickens Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore

Paddling near the fishing pier at the Fort Pickens Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore

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Last updated on April 28, 2022
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