Starting at the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, paddlers have the option of paddling the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) or the Atlantic shore, depending on wind, weather and preference. In calm weather, the Atlantic may be safer until the ICW begins to widen north of the Boynton Inlet.
ICW paddlers will pass through many popular areas including Lauderdale by the Sea, Hillsboro Beach and Lake Boca Raton. Along the way are some great local parks including the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (at Red Reef Park) and the Spanish River Park. The Red Reef Park (Atlantic side of Gumbo Limbo) features a man-made reef about 10 feet offshore, where even beginning snorkelers can catch sight of tropical fish, turtles, eels and stingrays. Those seeking overnight lodging in this segment can find local motels along the ICW or Atlantic shore.