Paddling around Tampa’s Harbor Island

A self-supported trip created by spudpotatohead

Trip Overview

Put in just next to the Riverpark Boathouse at the Julian B Lane Riverfront Park.

A calm paddle downtown on the Hillsborough river - water is flat here and the boathouse often uses it for sculling. Graffiti lines the banks with names of past boating teams. Arrived at the intersection where one can see Harbor Island and also Davis islands. I decided to paddle around Harbor Island and its yachts. The west side (Garrison Channel) is lined with homes of the elite and their personal docks. The east side (Sparkman Channel) is lined mainly with mangroves. The east side has more industrial traffic with big ships and tugs. The old Jose Gasparilla ‘pirate’ ship was docked on the East Side.

The Southern tip of Harbor Island is marked with a small lighthouse; mainly ornamental, called Seddon Light. Harbor Island used to be named Seddon Island after W. L. Seddon, chief engineer for the Seaboard Air Line Railway

Safety Notes

Lots of boat traffic is possible here. Be aware and stick to the banks.


Increased traffic in the channels can cause some decent waves, even in the low wake areas.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 3/1/2024
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, Open Water/Ocean

Trip Location