Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail SEGMENT 21: INDIAN RIVER /
Covering the middle section of the Indian River Lagoon, considered to be North America's most diverse estuary, this segment incorporates premier state and county parks, federal land, numerous spoil islands and a traditional fish camp. Paddlers are almost guaranteed to spot sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and a wide variety of bird life.
You can start this segment from the sandy Dynamite Point beaches at Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park. Here U.S. Navy Frogmen trained for the D-Day invasion in World War II. Immediately north of the park is the 1A Bridge and Pepper Beach State Recreation Area. Numerous spoil islands offer opportunities for camping. As part of this segment, paddlers can cruise along Pelican Island, America's first national wildlife refuge and once the last known brown pelican rookery along North America's East Coast. Although it is smaller now than when first protected in 1903, brown pelicans still nest on the island.