Canaveral Marshes Hiking

This is a very nice place to visit. I have hiked most of it, enjoying all of the various areas. I personally like the St. Johns River side; the views of the river and cypress trees are just beautiful! The only real available access spot now is just off RT50, watch for the sign marking the area. Parking is pretty scarce, I assume because it is an area not that widely used. If I could change one thing, that would be to get rid of the helicopter training which were quite annoying during my 2008-2009 visits. It seems a school has an airfield right in the middle of the area and use it all the time. A fair percentage of the trails are actually roads leading out in different directions as you leave the parking area. You can head straight south and will eventually wind up at the St. Johns River floodplain with Paw Paw Mound on your right. You could take a right at the first crossroads and head down that road, after going through a gate and heading south you will come out again at the St. Johns River floodplain with Paw Paw Mound on your left. This route down to the river is normally the drier route, if it is still the wetter part of the year use it. If you want to go over to Addison canal and the Indian mound trail area, than look for the blue blazed trail just after entering the area on your left. You will follow the blue blazes (at times hard to spot) down to where you will find a log bridge which allows you to cross the Addison Canal. Look for the blue blazes and follow them over to the edge of Great Outdoors RV Park. You will then head south down into just about the only real wooded section in the area. You will find a loop trail that will take you around what is recorded as an Indian mound. So regardless of which way you go you should enjoy the area. As I mentioned, I have hiked most all of the trails and roads, as well as explored some of the areas which just had cattle trails cutting through them. I have run into some pretty big cows during my walks, but they just looked at me and let me pass. I feel they provide a great benefit to the area; the trails through the grass are great to find. The main problem and concern for me at all times are the hunters that show up along the St. Johns River. I hate to even mention hunters but I feel I would be amiss if I didn’t make people aware of their presence. I normally wear bright colors whenever I go into the St. Johns River floodplain.

Blazed trails - the only actual blazed trails start on the left side as you leave the parking lot. You start on a blue blazed trail, then see a white blazed trail which leads to a red blazed trail loop in the woods. In many areas the blazes are not that great; they are faded or even non-existent. If you don't spot a blaze, try and determine the way you think the trail should go and go that way - if a blaze is not encountered after a reasonable distance, go back and look around.

~ You can check the hunting schedule at my web calendar devoted to that – see Hunting Schedule Calendar
~ SJRWMD has provided a PDF brochure and trail map at http://www.sjrwmd.com/recreationguide/canaveralmarshes/
~ You can see many of the pictures I've taken at Canaveral Marshes at - Canaveral Marshes Panoramio Pictures
~ My hikes at Canaveral Marshes can be viewed/downloaded at - My WIKILOC Hikes - just look for Canaveral Marshes Hikes in list

Here are some of the GPS coords for spots in the Marshes - use them in Google Earth Parking Area -
  • N28 32.635 W80 53.791
  • Paw Paw Mound - N28 31.252 W80 54.273
  • Blue Blazed Trail Start - N28 32.637 W80 53.787
  • Addison Canal - N28 31.642 W80 52.603
  • Bridge Over Canal - N28 31.639 W80 52.869
  • Indian Mound - N28 30.600 W80 52.400
  • Helicopter Airfield - N28 32.161 W80 54.120
  • Hunter's Camp - N28 32.190 W80 54.807

Here is a map of the area, showing some of my tracks –

Entrance Information -

Road/trail down to Paw Paw Mound -

Paw Paw Mound -

Horses on the floodplain -

Some cattle looking at me - just lookers -

Cattle trail through the grass -

Cypress trees on the river bank -

Student helicopter in the area -

Power lines covering blue blazed trail -

Bridge over Addison Canal -

Blue blazed trail through the woods -

2 comments:

TTT05Mikes said...

Great stuff, Tom. My family is hitting the Canaveral Marshes Blue Trail today. Thanks for all the hard work, labor of love. See you on the trails, Frog Man!

Robert Stalnaker said...

We did the blue blaze trail. The wildlife and birds were terrific. I am anxious to check this out next migration season, but the winter residents now are still great. Note, ... where you see a double blue blaze pointing to the right, do not take that right but continue straight. The actual turn to the right is just a bit further down the trail. The trails were maintained well on the section we were on. Thank you to the Saint Johns Water Management staff for answering some questions for us.