Paddling Our Wild Shores

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida and Mississippi

This section of gulf shore seems rife with good paddling potential but hasn't been developed to invite self-powered boaters. It has a mix of habitats—barrier island, swamp and bayou, coastal river, and mixed forest—with the attendant wildlife indigenous to the gulf coast.

There are several boat launch locations, but camping is limited and most of the boating is of the motorized variety. Johnson Beach, on Perdido Key, is a good launch spot with five miles of beach that is accessible only on foot or by boat.

In the Mississippi District, the Davis Bayou is the best bet for paddling day trips, with access to extensive bayou country but without any waterside camps. The islands off the Mississippi coast are serviced only by passenger ferry, but they do offer primitive backcountry camping.


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