CT Section Paddles

If you want to take a coastal paddling trip for a week or more, but don't have the time or inclination to paddle for 5 months, there are excellent CT section paddles.

Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail

big bend salwater paddling trail logo

Technically now apart of the CT, the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail predates the circumnavigational trail. The Big Bend is still a destination unto itself, as it is one of the most remote and wild stretches of Florida's coastline, along with the Everglades/10,000 Islands. 


The official trail is 105 miles long, but extra days can be added to both ends to extend the trip. The state has produced a 40-page guide to the 105-mile trail. This information with reference maps is also available free in Section 6 of the CT guide. A text-only version can be downloaded as a PDF below.


The trail is open from September 1st through June 30th. There are seven designated primitive campsites 10 to 14 miles apart, marked with small white signs on white poles. They require permits and are intended for trail users only but are often used by locals, especially Rock Island, which is a weekend hangout spot in the summer.

CT Section 6 - Big Bend.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 44.1 KB

The Everglades / 10,000 Islands

national park service logo

Like the Big Bend, the Everglades/10,000 Islands are technically part of the CT, but they are a premier paddling destination unto themselves. Unlike the Big Bend, there are numerous options and routes the paddler can take through this area, and so much more planning is required to choose a route. A basic guide with reference maps is available for free in Section 14 of the CT guide. A text-only version can be downloaded as a PDF below.


In the Everglades National Park, there are two basic routes, a marked "inland" route through the mangrove swamps called the Wilderness Waterway, and the Gulf route, which takes paddlers island-hopping where the Everglades meets Florida Bay. The inland route is used more frequently, likely because it is safe to traverse in a canoe, while the Gulf route requires a sea kayak.

CT Section 14 - Everglades & Florida Bay
Adobe Acrobat Document 32.3 KB

The Keys

Again, while technically a part of the CT, the Keys can be thought of as a separate, unique  paddling destination. The Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail is 111 miles long, stretching from John Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo, to Key West. A guide with reference maps to this route is available for free in Section 15 of the CT guide. A text-only version is available as a PDF below.

CT Section 15 - Florida Keys.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 48.7 KB