Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
Florida's Longest and Most Ambitious Sea Kayaking Trail
Note: Due to Hurricane Irma, several coastal campsites in the Keys
and possibly elsewhere were impacted. Please contact the managers listed
in the segment guides for latest updates.
at Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola, extending around the Florida
peninsula and Keys, and ending at Fort Clinch State Park near the
Georgia border, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
(commonly referred to as The CT) is a 1,515-mile sea kayaking paradise.
The trail includes every Florida coastal habitat type, from barrier
island dune systems to salt marsh to mangroves. Numerous historical sites
and points of interest are accessible by kayak along with colorful
fishing communities and urban centers.
The CT is divided into 26 segments. Each segment is
unique, ranging from the remote Big Bend Coast and Everglades/Florida
Bay wilderness, to the more urbanized coastlines of Pinellas County and
Fort Lauderdale. The trail is utilized by thousands of Florida residents
and visitors alike who paddle the trail for a few hours, days, weeks or
months. Some hardy souls have paddled the entire trail, and others seek
to complete the trail in segments over several years, similar to how
hikers often tackle the Florida or Appalachian Trail.
The CT is a strategic long-term priority of the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection, being coordinated by the Office
of Greenways and Trails, but it relies heavily on the involvement and
cooperation of numerous other government agencies at the federal, state,
regional and local levels, along with private outfitters, businesses,
paddling clubs and individual volunteers. The non-profit
Paddling Trails Association was formed in 2007 to act as volunteer
stewards of the CT, along with other paddling trails. The "Paddling Community" page of
their website shows paddlers who have completed the entire trail.
The CT has incorporated and partnered with several
existing local and regional trails such as the Big Bend Saltwater
Paddling Trail, The Nature Coast Trail, the Gulf and Wilderness
waterways in Everglades National Park, and several county blueways
trails. Also, the trail now connects to the states of Georgia,
South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia via the
Saltwater Paddling Trail. Also, long-distance hikers on the
Eastern Continental Trail may want to consider the CT for all or
part of their Florida journey.
Highlighting and educating paddlers about Florida's rich
history and fragile coastal environment, the CT traverses 20 national
parks, seashores, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries, 37 Florida
aquatic preserves and 47 Florida state parks, along with numerous local
parks and preserves. Sea kayaking is one of the country's fastest
growing outdoor sports and requires less infrastructure and fossil fuels
than most other coastal boating activities. It is especially suited for
Florida's growing population of retirees and senior citizens because new
materials and manufacturing designs are helping to make kayaks lighter
and easier to maneuver.
Segment guides, photos and maps can be downloaded from
this website at no charge. If desired, all of the text information in
the form of a printed guide is available for purchase on Amazon.com,
with proceeds directed to the Florida Paddling Trails Association. Color
maps must still be downloaded from this website, and a link to all of
the maps in one document is available on the Trail Segment Descriptions,
Maps, and more page. Also, thru paddlers have posted blogs and
trip reports on the Florida Paddling Trails Association
If you are planning a through trip on the CT please
contact us for GIS data and let us know a little about your plans. We
are happy to answer any questions. We
also appreciate your comments and updates so we can keep maps and
segment guides up to date. Contact OGT
Assistant Chief Doug
Fourth Annual Florida Circumnavigational Trail (CT)/Florida Paddling
Trails Association Reunion April 21-23, 2017, Wekiwa
Springs State Park. See stunning photos and hear amazing stories from CT
thru-paddlers. Click here
for more information.
The 5th edition of the printed CT Trail Guide is now available for
Amazon! All information is available on this website, but this will
save you lots of printing.
Thinking of paddling on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater
Paddling Trail? See the long distance
trip considerations and
recommendations web page before planning your trip.