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St. Marks River in Florida

Trip Overview

Monday we paddled the St. Marks River, so we stopped on the way past the Riverside, pulled our boats up to the dock, and had breakfast. After we were sufficiently stuffed, we paddled on up the river, past several marinas, what appeared to be some type of refinery, and several private docks. The farther up the river we went the fewer the signs of people. On the right side of the river was the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Just before we reached the highway 98 bridge, power lines crossed the river, and we saw a family of 3 manatees having breakfast in the river. The first family we had seen on Sunday were also under the power lines, which made me wonder if this was a coincidence, or if they sensed the electric power.

North of the bridge we found a small cove, beached the boats, and had a very refreshing swim. I think it was about this point that we decided that we should sell everything in Mobile and move here.

As we paddled back to Shell Island, we came upon another gator, about 4 or 5 feet. He wasnt scared of us either. We cleaned up, rode the bikes to Riverside for dinner, and then rode about 5 miles up the St. Marks Bicycle Trail. The state has developed what they call the Rails to Trails program, where they converted the railroad right-of-way to a bike trail, that runs the 16 miles from Tallahassee to St. Marks.


Shell Island Fish Camp & Marina, St. Marks, Florida

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip