This is a great place for an all day outing or to just get away for an hour or two. The Thousand Islands are on the eastern shore of the Banana River, just minutes away from the hustle of Cocoa Beach and all the hotels, shops, and restaurants on A1A. The numerous mangrove islands provide lots of shelter from the wind and a lot of the water is too shallow for motorboats, so this is a good place to take novices to see lots of wildlife and build paddling confidence. There is open water nearby for more advanced paddlers seeking a vigorous workout with the dolphins.
The put in is at Ramp Road Park. The park offers ample parking, covered picnic tables, a boardwalk for strolling and fishing, bathrooms, and two boat ramps. One ramp is larger for motor craft, and the other ramp at the bathroom end of the boardwalk is smaller and seems to be for paddle craft. Its nice to not have to compete for ramp space with the motorboats.
The navigation channel at the put in is quite narrow, so boat traffic can be a bit heavy at first. But by turning into one the many mangrove channels, you can quickly escape the boat traffic, road noise, barking dogs and backyard voices along the shore. On a Sunday in mid-March once we got offshore we felt like we had the water to ourselves for much of the time.
All the islands and channels make this a perfect spot for birding, fishing, or just plain exploring. We found a lot of sandy beaches on the islands that gave us our choice of picnic spots. During the lunch stop we took the time to observe the under water life by wading along the mangrove water line. We saw so much that we wished that wed thought to bring a marine life field guide along.
While there may not actually be one thousand islands there are certainly a lot of them. The channels between them can turn in all directions leading to frequent dead ends. It is helpful to have a compass along to maintain your bearings and find the way back to the put in. There is also a frequently glimpsed church steeple to the east in Cocoa Beach that is just to the south of the put in that can be helpful, too. Enjoy!
Ramp Road Park offers boat ramps, covered picnic areas, and bathrooms.
To Cocoa Beach proceed south on A1A to where the road divides. Turn west on 5th St. South. Turn south on South Brevard to an immediate turn onto Ramp Road. Ramp Road runs into the launch site.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: Open Water/Ocean