Paddling options abound at Biscayne National Park, whether starting on the mainland at Convoy Point or on one of the park’s developed keys, such as Adams Key, Elliott Key, or Boca Chita Key. Motorboats must utilize one of the municipal docks or a private marina in the vicinity, although canoes and kayaks may be launched directly from the Dante Fascell Visitor Center. You may leave your vehicle in the parking area if you want to paddle to Elliott Key or Boca Chita Key and sleep there, but you must first get a permit from the Visitor Center. In this article, we will share extra details about paddleboard Biscayne Bay with you.
What is it like to paddleboard Biscayne Bay?
Biscayne Bay is calmer than the open Atlantic since it is shallow and shielded by the keys. On a sunny day, paddling from Convey Point to Elliott Key, a distance of nine miles one way, is certainly achievable. A paddle to Boca Chita Key is around eleven miles one way, while a paddle to Adams Key is about eight miles one way. The majority of paddlers heading to Elliott or Boca Chita want to camp and return in the following days. Because there is no camping at Adams Key, you must either return the same day or go four miles north to the Elliott Key Campground. The harbor is used by a variety of boats, most of which are travelling quite quickly, therefore be sure you fly a flag from your boat so that you can be seen.
If you’re camping on Elliott Key, a journey down to Adams Key is advised since there are many more keys within sight of one another. Jones Lagoon, located between Old Rhodes Key and Totten Key, is an excellent area to witness a variety of aquatic life, including sharks. Hurricane Creek, a short channel between Porgy Key and Old Rhodes Key, is another option.
You may also leave from Key Biscayne, which is located north of the park boundaries. Soldier Key is around seven miles one way, while ancient Stiltsville is much closer, at less than two miles one way. Keep in mind that none of the keys have anything other than thick mangroves and hardwood woods, so you won’t be able to go out and explore them. Except for a few locations where campsites and pathways have been cleared, even the tourist-friendly keys are impenetrable woodlands. If you don’t have a specific destination in mind, fishing from your kayak is also an alternative.
Paddleboard tours in Biscayne Bay
A boat excursion takes you to one of the southernmost islands, where you may stand up paddleboard or kayak around Jones Lagoon in search of young sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish, and other aquatic life. You can look down into the beautiful water and see the amazing marine life from a paddleboard. It costs $89 and is available every day.
Can you also snorkel?
Convoy Point has two snorkeling tours departing every day. A daily tour is conducted in the morning and afternoon, with the location varying and perhaps include patch reefs and a shipwreck. It costs $99. The skipper selects the shipwreck snorkeling spot each day dependent on the sea conditions, however the Mandalay is the principal wreck that is snorkeled. A Florida Rambler article on snorkeling a shipwreck may be found here.
Don’t forget to enjoy your surroundings
When you come to paddleboard Biscayne Bay, you should not forget to enjoy your surroundings. Then you can get the best possible experience at the end of the day.
Stiltsville has long been a favorite of Floridians. Stiltsville has long been associated with the wild, cool, and goofy side of Miami, from stories of gambling and debauchery in the 1930s through 1960s, to appearances on Miami Vice in the 1980s and allusions in Carl Hiaasen books.
The six surviving buildings, erected on stilts in Biscayne Bay a mile from Miami’s shore, are now part of Biscayne National Park and can only be viewed from the water. A well-trained volunteer guide leads the three-hour tour, which includes detailed background and history of not just Stiltsville, but also Biscayne Bay. This excursion departs from Deering Estate on Saturdays and Sundays. A Florida Rambler article on the Stiltsville trip may be found here.
If you’re interested in lighthouses, Deering Estate offers a four-hour trip once a month that narrates the history and gets you near to three lighthouses: Cape Florida on Key Biscayne, Fowey Rocks, and Boca Chita. According to Manges, the optimum time for this excursion is during the summer since calmer waves enable the boat to go very close to the Fowey lighthouse and the adjacent wreck of the Aratoon Apcar, which is part of the Maritime Heritage Tour.