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Mosquito Lagoon in Florida - Weekend Trip Report

Trip Overview

This was a 4 day, 3 night camping trip with sea kayaks. Permits were obtained from the Canaveral National Seashore (National Park Service) for Mosquito Lagoon. Reservations can only be made a maximum of 7 days in advance. See their website for more information.

We camped on 3 separate islands and paddled about a total of 25 miles round trip. We started at the Ranger Station on the East side and paddled counter clock wise hitting these campsites:

#7 Brickhouse Cove
#14 County Line Island (aggressive raccoons here - food had to be hung)

and what would have been campsite #4 Headwinds. Camp site #4 Headwinds was uninhabitable - a wet summer I guess. It was nothing but mud and small fiddler crabs. We didn't camp there and reported to the rangers later.

We saw several ospreys, terns, herons, dolphins and manatees and had a great manatee encounter in which they came to us. One of them , a 6 foot juvenile, even wrapped its flippers around the front of one of our kayaks (there were 3 of us) as if to rest.

Each island had enough dead wood to make a fire but we had to search for it. Unfortunately there was evidence of live wood being cut. There was very little litter around and it was the usual beer can or wrecked lounge chair left by lazy people. We picked up some trash along the way to take back to throw away.

The weather cooperated, lows in the 60's, highs in the low 80's. They had a wet summer but the bugs weren't bad, we still used bug spray.

We parked our vehicle and trailer at the Canaveral National Seashore Ranger Station and started and ended there.

If you go:
PLEASE use degradable white, single ply tissue paper and BURY all waste. A good map such as a Top Spot fishing map (not the park map), a compass and a GPS were valuable tools on this trip. I would recommend taking all 3. The horizon looks alike among the islands.


Back country: NO accommodations, NO fresh water - take your own. A 5 gallon collapsible plastic water jug fit between our feet in the sea kayaks.


Three 17-foot sea kayaks


Yes, $10 a night.

$5 for each car load to enter the park


New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore


Top Spot fishing maps were a good resource. The park map has GPS coordinates on it but has very little detail. Use a GPS and a compass to navigate through the islands and across open water. Google Earth was a great tool also.

  • Duration: 2-3 Day Trip, Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip