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Backcountry Camping
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Space Coast Central
Note; The sites listed below feature opportunities for primitve backcountry camping in a remote, wilderness setting. Facilities and or Utilities at these campsites will either be very limited or non existent and you are responsible for your own well being. All food, water, and other neccesities must be self provided and all trash packed out.
River Lakes Conservation Area
Editors Note; When paddling the St. Johns you will be sharing a twisting, turning river with powerboats and airboats. It is recommended that you attach a flag to your kayak, carry an airhorn to alert boaters to your presence, and always paddle around a bend in the river along the outside shore to give oncoming boaters a chance to see you. Most boaters and airboaters will be very courteous and slow down to pass you.
This conservation area includes lakes Washington, Winder and Poinsett as well as stretches of the St John's River. The river's water flow is regulated at one point — a fixed-crest weir located just north of Lake Washington — to help ensure water supply to Melbourne. The area contains extensive wetland communities, typically dominated by emergent species such as saw grass, smartweed, arrowhead and maidencane. It is also the northern part of the Upper St. John's River Marsh Wildlife Management Area, which encompasses virtually all of the Upper St. Johns River floodplain south to the marshes surrounding Lake Blue Cyprus in Indian River County. The St Johns River flows from the source in the south northward to Jacksonville Fl.

This area provides important habitat for fish and wildlife populations, including several listed species: wood storks, bald eagles, Florida sandhill cranes and river otters. The diversity of fish and wildlife provides an important recreational resource for anglers, hunters, boaters and bird-watchers.
Of special interest to boaters and kayakers are the 11 designated campsites and camping platforms along the river north and south of Lake Winder and along the western shore of the lake itself. The approximate locations are shown on page 4 of the FFWCC Brochure below. from SR 520 to the north the river's course is divided into a maze of channels and dead ends. Paddling this area can be very confusing to those not familiar with this river. South of Lake Poinsett the channel is a little more straightforward. This section of the St john's can be accessed from three launch sites. These are listed just below the individual campsites links.
FFWCC Brochure
Property Map
Primitive campsites and platforms
Camping Rules Regulations and Reservations
Note; These campsites are designed primarily for airboat access along airboat trails, and due to the terrain most are located some distance from the open water of the lakes and river. During the rainy season you may be able to reach some of them in a kayak via flooded airboat trails, other times you will have to either walk or may even find them impossible to access without an airboat. The Google Satellite image locations are based on co-ordinates provided by field biologists with the St. John's River Water Management District however, they may not be depicted on Google with 100% accuracy .
N 28 17.177
W 80 49.649
N 28 16.438
W 80 50.502
Mallow Point Camp
N 28 16.018
W 80 51.341
N 28 15.431
W 80 51.552
N 28 15.271
W 80 51.765
N 28 14.834
W 80 52.010
N 28 14.468
W 80 52.155
N 28 13.379
W 80 52.440
N 28 13.523
W 80 50.868
N 28 13.075
W 80 51.967
James G. Bourbeau
Memorial Park

8195 King St (Hwy 520), Cocoa
FROM the I-95 Exit-201, go west 5 miles on SR-520. The park is located along the St. Johns River next to Lone Cabbage Fish Camp.
ADA ACCESSIBLE: Parking, Restrooms, Boat Ramp, Dock, Pavilion.
GPS N 28 22.050 W 80 52.232
Goggle Satellite Image
Leroy Wright Recreation Area
8190 King Street (Hwy 520), Cocoa
FROM I-95 take the SR-520 Exit-201 west 4.9 miles. The park is on the right.
Situated along the flood plain of the St. Johns River at the north side of James G. Bourbeau Memorial Park, this 32.65-acre recreation area features a paved ramp and paved parking for 21 cars and 31 boat trailers. Picnic tables, 2 grills and benches offer added convenience.
GPS N 28 22.290 W 80 52.273
Goggle Satellite Image
Lake Washington Park
6000 Lake Washington Road, Melbourne
FROM I-95 take the SR-518/Eau Gallie Blvd Exit 183 east 0.4 miles. Turn left on John Rhodes and go 0.8 miles. Turn left on Aurora Blvd and stay straight 1.3 miles. Turn left on Lake Washington Road and go 1.5 miles to the end of the road.
FROM US Hwy 1 go west 5.6 miles to the end of Lake Washington Road.
Boat ramps open 24 hours a day.
This shaded 25.96-acre community river park is along the shore of Lake Washington which accesses the St. Johns River. The park has ramps for power boats and a launch area for airboats. Fishing is popular from the lake and the 120' fishing pier.
ADA ACCESSIBLE: Parking, Restrooms, Pavilions.
GPS N 28 08.852 W 80 44.041
Goggle Satellite Image

Samsoms Island
Samsons Island is a 52 acre island nature preserve owned by the City of Satellite Beach accessable only by boat. The island has three docks or landing platforms. The Main dock is on the Grand Canal east of the island with a landing platform on the north and south side of the island. The island also has designated walking trails, and rustic campsites. Paddling only trails have been cut along the western portion of the island and the city of Satellite Beach has done a fantastic job of removing exotics and restoring native habitats to the island. Fishing on the flats west of the island and along the shoreline mangroves of the grand canal can be excellent. The City of Satellite Beach can be very proud of this project. The easiest access to Sampsons Island is via the Oars & Paddles Park (Listed Just Below) in Indian Harbor Beach. From Oars and Paddles Park , paddle west down the canal past Telemar Marina until you reach the Banana River just south of Mather’s Bridge. Paddle north under the bridge and proceed past the first two canal openings and turn east into the third canal. It is only a few hundred yards north of the bridge and will soon turn to the North. This is the Grand Canal and paddling north from here about two miles will take you past many expensive homes to Sampsons Island . When you pass under the Lansing Island Bridge, the Island will be about a mile away on the left. You will pass a canal leading to the Banana River and then a landing dock along the only stretch of undeveloped land you've seen to this point. This is Samson's Island. You can also paddle north from Mather's Bridge along the eastern Banana River Shoreline to the island. Again the Island will stand out as the only undeveloped stretch of land. The total paddle either way is about 2.3 miles.
All Samsons Island visitors remaining on or arriving to the island after dusk must have a valid visitor permit. This permit is available from the Satellite Beach Recreation Department during their business hours, Monday-Friday 8:30am-6pm. Those wishing to secure a permit must bring in their driver's license & information on boat (model & length). The permit is issued annually and is valid through 12/31 of the current year. Visitors with permits are instructed to phone in their request to visit the island after dark (campfire or camping) prior to each visit. Also ask for an overnight parking permit for Oars & Paddles Park. This will allow you to leave your vehicle at the park for the duration of your campout at Samson's Island without the vehicle getting towed away. The Satellite Beach Recreation Department is located in the David R. Schechter Community Center at 1089 South Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach, FL 32937,
Phone: (321) 773-6458
Samsons Island Homepage
GPS (Samsons Island) N 28 10.997 W 80 36.685
Google Satellite Image (Sampsons Island)
GPS (David R. Schechter Community Center) N 28 11.015 W 80 36.365
Google Satellite Image (David R. Schechter Community Center)

Oars & Paddles Park
1329 Banana River Drive
Indian Harbour Beach.
This is the closest Launch Point to access Sampson's Island for overnight camping. You will need a parking permit to park here overnight. These are available when you pick up your Samson's Island Camping Permit from the Satellite Beach Recreation Department.
Directions: From I-95 or US 1 in Melbourne, go east on Eau Gallie Causeway (SR 518). Just after crossing the bridge over the Indian River, turn left and proceed north on South Patrick Drive (SR 513) for .9-mile. Turn west on Banana River Drive. For information, click on name above or call 321-255-4400.
GPS N 28 09.020 W 80 36.072
Google Satellite Image