Mosquito Lagoon offers the paddler an opportunity to view Florida wildlife "up close and personal". A quick paddle from the put in takes you across the intercoastal waterway and into the many mangrove of Mosquito Lagoon. Here you'll enjoy quite waters, abundant wildlife and very few other boats. Paddlers can travel through the mangrove-lined channels and see playful raccoons, ibis, heron and osprey.
In deeper water it's not unusual to paddle alongside several dolphin, and even manatee will surface to see what your slow, brightly colored craft is all about. You can pull your kayak or canoe up on one of the hundreds of little, uninhabited islands for a snack or a swim. Overnight camping is available with appropriate permits. Paddle back to the put in and enjoy Florida hospitality as it used to be at the nearby restaurant. Pick a table on the porch overlooking the lagoon to continue viewing the amazing wildlife show.
Mosquito Lagoon is suitable for novice and experienced paddlers alike. On blustery days novices may have trouble aligning their kayak or canoe to their course, due to the combination of wind and tide. The only other caveat is the probability of summer thunderstorms in the afternoon, between June and September. (Think LOTS OF LIGHTNING!)
Mosquito Lagoon is a primitive wildlife area. Anything you may need during your paddle will have to be carried in your kayak or canoe. Fortunately the water is usually quite warm, and there are plenty of places to beach your boat.
There is $3 fee per boat for launching.
From Daytona Beach take I-95 South to the New Smyrna Beach exit. Head east until you pass over the intercoastal waterway and are heading south on A1A. Go about five miles to JB's Fish Camp (the put in). Pay the bartender three dollars to launch, and you're in business.
A marine chart of Mosquito Lagoon is helpful. A GPS makes navigation in the lagoon very simple.
Submitted by: Kemp Howland