This particularly beautiful spot is one of several place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Intracoastal Waterway. A fabulous launch spot is the beach park on the South Beach Causeway. Launch from the beach right into the shallow water.
The tide is swift, not impossible. The water is usually azure blue, coming right from the ocean with great enthusiasm. The inlet is well over 50 feet deep. Very large ships pass through. Do not be afraid, just respectful. The big boats cannot stop for you. If you are not a confident paddler(yet) make sure to try this on an incoming tide the first time. Preferably close to high tide. At low tide, parts of this trip are difficult.
From the beach, paddle straight across the inlet (north) and a little to the west. Pass under the North Bridge then turn right. Pass a boat ramp, then right at the next bridge. You will be near a boat channel, try to stay out of it. At low tide, the edges of the channel barely have enough water for a kayak. Continue south and hug the east shore of this marshy area of sandbars and irregularly shaped mangrove islands.
You will come to a channel that will return you to the Inlet. Go slow and dawdle and swim. This is very pretty. Also, take time to walk the beach on the north side of the inlet. Very nice with lots of birds and fish. If you have time, explore the areas west and north of the channel. It is hard to get lost in this intricate area of islands and channels, but there are exactly 2 passages from the inlet to the boat channel. There is no harm in discovering this for yourself.
Hopefully when you are ready to return to your car, you will still have an incoming tide. Paddle the inlet east back to your car then go out for a snack and finish your day tired and content. Approximate distance 5 miles for the loop.
This is not really a trip for beginners because the inlet crossing can be a little tricky. Optimally, paddle on a day with no wind (very unlikely) or wind under 15mph. Be prepared, however. Conditions can change at any time. Wear your PFD, wear your safety whistle, and have extra paddles on hand. Use sunscreen, bring insect repellent, and bring plenty of water and snacks.
There are bathrooms at the park where the trip begins and at the boat ramp at the north bridge.
On weekends, there is heavy motor boat traffic
If you go, from the intersection of US1 and Virginia Drive (highway 70) in Fort Pierce, take US1 north to Seaway Drive. Turn right and pass over a very big fixed bridge. The park is on the left.
Use this address for directions:
822 Seaway Dr
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
This is the address of a restaurant on the causeway. You could launch anywhere west of the restaurant.