Gulf Islands National Seashore (Mississippi) | BOATING

Private boats are welcome to visit all islands in the Mississippi unit of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The islands range anywhere from eight to twelve miles from the mainland, and the seas can get quite rough, so boats less than 20 feet long are not recommended. Standard Mississippi state boating regulations apply.

Boaters must anchor offshore and either wade, swim, or use a dinghy to get to the islands, except at the west end of Ship Island where a pier is available during daylight hours. Be sure to dock on the beach-side of the boat hoist, as the end of the pier is used for the public ferry. There is a pier at Horn Island, but it is not open to the public. There are no docks at any of the other islands. The only anchoring regulation is that you cannot anchor is sea grass.

NOAA nautical charts 11372, 11373, and 11374 cover the area.

Be sure you have enough gas and a boat towing service to call in case of emergency. Though there are park Rangers on Ship and Horn islands, they cannot sell gas or tow disabled boats.

See The Islands web page for information on the different islands. There is a separate web page for Ship Island, the most popular of the five islands in the park.

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Last updated on December 16, 2019
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