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Canoe, Kayak Fishing Access

Space Coast South, Freshwater

(SR-192 Melbourne, South)

Note; Click on proerty name to go to official website for property.


The Upper St. John's River Marsh Wildlife Management Area extends from State Road 520 west of Cocoa and extends down to encompass the headwaters of the St. John's River and Lake Blue Cyprus. Consisting of more than 119,000 acres in Brevard and Indian River counties, the Wildlife Management Area is jointly owned by the State and the St. John's River Water Management District (SJRWMD). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) primarily manages and controls hunting within the property while the Water Management District controls habitat restoration and recreational activities during non-hunting times. For these purposes the District has divided them up into several different Conservation Areas. On this page we will discuss all Kayak Launch Points for this area South of State Road 192 which encompasses Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area, Blue Cypress Conservation Area, and Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area. Of special interest to boaters and kayakers are the designated campsites and camping platforms within the Three Forks Area. These will be discussed farther on the Backcountry Camping Pages. There is also one site on this page not within the Upper St. John's River Marsh Wildlife Management Area, and that is the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park.
FFWCC Brochure
Three Faorks Property Map
Primitive campsites and platforms
Blue Cypress Property Map
Fort Drum Property Map

Camp Holly; This privately owned fish camp is located on State Road 192 where it crosses the St. Johns West of Melbourne. Features include boat ramps, a bar, bait, tackle, boat rentals, airboat rides, and live entertainment. Putting in here provides access to the River Lakes Conservation Areato the North, and Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area to the South. In fact camp Holly is the only clear kayak access point to the Three Forks Area allowing you to actually travel the headwaters of the St. John's River. Paddling south from here will take you to Sawgrass lake, little Sawgrass lake, then to Lake Hell N Blazes, and finally to the Three forks that become the St. Johns. (All upstream paddling as the St. Johns flows south to north.)
Camp Holly Website
GPS N 28 05.105 W 80 45.110
Google Satellite Image

C54 Canal;
The C-54 was dug between 1966 and 1970 as a major flood relief channel for thousands of acres of farm and ranch land in the western portions of Brevard and Indian River counties. The canal, now managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, is 12 miles long, starting at the famed Stick Marsh-Farm 13 impoundment and ending on the channelized north fork of the Sebastian River. It forms the border between Brevard and Indian River county, and at the boat ramp at the Stick Marsh as well as the border between Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area and Blue Cypress Conservation Area.
It was dredged to depths of 16 to 18 feet, and is 300 feet wide. The design included an 8-to 10-foot-wide shelf extending out-from the shorelines before dropping off to deep water.
A single-lane dirt ramp on the south side of the canal a quarter-mile west of Babcock Street Bridge is the only boat or canoe / kayak launch site on the canal. The ramp is at the midway point on the canal, so there's plenty of fishing in either direction. Paddling to the East takes you into St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park and eventually joins the Sebastian River, while paddling west takes you toward the Stick Marsh / Farm 13 area within Blue Cypress Conservation Area. Control structures are at both ends of the canal.
GPS N 27 49.377 W 80 36.788
Google Satellite Image
SJRWMD St. Sebastian River Preserve Website
Property Map


Blue Cypress Conservation Area
Property map
This conservation area is 54,458 acres in size and extends from the Fellsmere Grade along C-54 Canal at the top of the Stick Marsh southward to State Road 60 west of Vero Beach in Indian River County and can be accessed from several locations listed below.


Stick Marsh / Farm 13
This impoundment was designed to contain and treat water from the C-54 Canal, prevent flooding reduce freshwater inflow into the Indian River Lagoon to the east. Blue Cypress Conservation Area. The name Stick Marsh refers to the standing dead trees in the water from when the area was impounded and flooded. The result has been a world class Bass fishery. Today this area boasts one of the highest percentages of bass ten pounds or greater when compared to the total catch of anywhere in the nation.
GPS N 27 49.343 W 80 42.478
Google Satellite Image


Kenansville Lake
This is another impoundment designed to contain and treat water from the C-54 Canal and prevent flooding without diverting the water to the Indian River Lagoon to the east. This area was cattle pasture before being purchased and flooded in 1993. Great bass fishing as well as bluegills and crappie. There is one small boat ramp on the lake.
Directions; From Kenansville, go south on U.S. 441. Turn east on Kenansville/Fellsmere Road. The road ends at the parking area to Kenansville Lake (about 12 miles).
GPs (Kenansville Lake) N 27 49.361 W 80 48.699
Google Satellite Image


Blue Cypress Restoration Area
Blue Cypress Restoration area is an impoundment adjacent to the Blue Cypress Conservation Area designed to improve the water quality of the Upper St. Johns River and is a deepwater cypress wetland where a paddling and small boat series of loop trails has been marked by red and white buoys, depending on which trail you are on.
N 27 39.762 W 80 38.667
Google Satellite Image
Paddling Map

Lake Blue Cypress County Park;
Blue Cypress Park is located at 7400 Blue Cypress Lake Road. . To get there take State Road 60 from Interstate 95 about 18 miles, turn right on Blue Cypress Road. The park will be at the end of this road, about 4.3 miles, just past Middleton's Fish Camp (Below) Features include 2 boat launches, a floating dock, paved parking, grass overflow parking, rest room facilities with showers and 2 covered pavilions.
GPS N 27 43.628 W 80 46.599
Google Satellite Image

Middleton's Fish Camp;
Middleton's is a private owned fish camp located on Blue Cypress Lake West of Vero Beach, To get there take State Road 60 from Interstate 95 about 18 miles, turn right on Blue Cypress Road, about 4 miles up turn right on 73 Manor and camp will be on the left, Middleton's offers fishing for big bass at Blue Cypress Lake and pontoon boat nature tours for birdwatchers and photographers, with abundant and varied wildlife everywhere. Guide Service, boat rentals, free launch and camping, and full-service bait and tackle.
GPS N 27 43.542 W 80 46.527
Google Satellite Image