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Reported: Nov. 2014

St. Sebastian River... Paddling a Natural Florida River

St. Sebastian River straddles Brevard and Indian River Counties on Florida's Space Coast, one of the Florida east coast's last remaining natural rivers. Feeding into Indian River Lagoon, the river is divided into a North and South Prong; the South is the more popular route. Upstream, the river is more narrow and scenic, toward the Indian River it gets wider with more motor boat traffic. (Detailed map and photos below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: Various
Location: Brevard and Indian River Counties (Sebastian)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: Yes, especially closer to the Indian River
Launch points: Dale Wimbrow Park, Sebastian Canoe/Kayak Launch (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Sebastian (link, above right)
Nearby points of interest: Melbourne Beach, Vero Beach, Sebastian Inlet State Park, Cape Canaveral

The water is brackish to fresh tidal, both salt and fresh water vegetation were observed with marsh and scrub, mangrove, oak, pine, cypress and palm trees. The South Prong is the more popular route, past Dale Wimbrow Park and to the Sebastian Canoe/Kayak Launch. The North Prong connects to the C54 Canal and St. Sebastian River State Park (no launch).

Dale Wimbrow Park has parking, restrooms, boat ramp and launch, picnic tables, grills, and playground. Located across from Dale Wimbrow Park, About Kayaks outfitter was very accommodating to paddlers' needs; they offer kayak rentals and guided tours - a 6-mile trip from the Sebastian Canoe/Kayak Launch (near routes 512/510) and a 3-mile trip from an old Boy Scout camp.

Wildlife include wading birds, eagles, osprey, otter, alligator, turtles and fish. Manatee can be found depending on the season, but we did not see any this trip. We saw signs of wild boar along the riverbanks.

Paddling at St. Sebastian River
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
Paddling on the South Prong
 About Kayaks outfitter shuttled us to the Sebastian Canoe/Kayak Launch and we paddled downstream about six miles to Dale Wimbrow Park. The river upstream is more narrow with many twists and turns and a fairly swift current for the first 1.5 miles. We were there at high water and ran into no obstacles. Approaching and past Dale Wimbrow Park the river gets wider and more motorboat traffic observed. We saw some homes in this section, but much of the shoreline is set aside for conservation.
st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe
About Kayaks, across from Dale Wimbrow Park At the Sebastian Canoe/Kayak Launch - need to drag your vessel across the bridge On the dock with our outfitter Launch from the beach next to the dock, a steep drop On the river
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Some narrow spots in this section Scenic, winding river When you see this tree, bear to the left
st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe
The river widens Homes along the river Boat ramp / launch at Dale Wimbrow Park
Flora and Fauna
We didn't see much wildlife, perhaps due to the time of year. Turtles, birds, one alligator!
We were dodging the jumping mullet, however, one almost landed in Mudfish's kayak.
st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe st sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoest sebastian-paddle - Kayak, Canoe
Turtle Heron We didn't see any manatee though we were told some had been observed Look hard to see the  alligator's head heading to shore (you have to believe us!) Lots of flowers along the water's edge

More information (opens in a new window):

- Florida State Parks - St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
- Indian River County Ecotourism - The Best Ways to Explore our Waterways

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