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Freshwater, Space Coast South

This section includes destinations for Kayaking the St Johns River at its headwaters in Southern Brevard and North Indian River Counties.


Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area
The Three Forks Conservation Area extends from State Road 192 west of Melbourne southward to the Fellsmere Grade, which forms the southern border of Brevard County and Indian River County and contains Three Forks Marsh, within which three creeks come together to form the first discernable channel of the St. John's River. Camp Holly on State Road 192 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. This is an upstream paddle as the St. John's flows to the north, but not that difficult as the flow is very "lazy" and it is well worth the paddle. There are the 5 designated campsites and camping platforms within the Three Forks Area.
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 Area to the North, and Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area to the South.
GPS N 28 05.105 W 80 45.110
Google Satellite Image
Blue Cypress Conservation Area
This area is part of the Upper St. Johns River Basin Project being implemented by the District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This project will reduce flooding, restore and maintain natural hydrologic cycles and protect water quality. It will also reduce freshwater diversions to the Indian River Lagoon estuary and enhance native habitat for fish and wildlife. Blue Cypress Lake and Kenansville Lake are located on the western portion of the area.
The eastern portion of the area contains foraging and nesting habitat for the listed snail kite. Wetland-dependent species found here include great blue herons, white ibis, snowy egrets, limpkins and night herons. Other species include wood storks, ospreys and bald eagles. There are three primary locations for Paddling this area.
The Fellesmere Grade Recreation Pad allows access to the Stick Farm Marsh 13 area. These areas are world reknowned for their Bass fishing. The Stick Farm gets it's name from the fact that it was once a forest. It was flooded in order to create an impoundment to treat water coming in from the C-54 Canal before it could distribute accumilated pollutants and nutrients to the Upper St. John's Marsh, improving the water quality of the River. This stump filled marsh is a great place to paddle in the fall and winter to see flocks of migratory ducks.
Directions: From I-95 in Palm Bay, take Exit 173 (Malabar Road) and go 0.25 miles east to Babcock Street (CR 507). Turn right and go south on Babcock for approximately 11 miles. Turn right onto Fellsmere Grade Road just after crossing the C-54 Canal. From the intersection of 1-95 and CR 512 (Exit 156), head west for three miles to CR 507 (Babcock Street). Turn right (north) and, after five miles, turn left (west) onto Fellsmere Grade Road, just south of the C-54 Canal. Go all the way to the end of the dirt road (about six miles).
Fellsmere Grade Recreation Pad / Stick Marsh - Farm 13
N 27 49.343 W 80 42.478
Google Satellite Image
Another great place for fishing and exceptional wildlife viewing, the Blue Cypress Water Management Area is a rectangular impounded marsh area designed to filter agricultural run-off before being released into the pristine headwaters of the St. Johns River. The southern end of the management area is off limits to airboats and boats with motors greater than 10 HP. The area supports several wading bird rookeries and the eastern portion contains foraging and nesting habitat for the endangered snail kite. Other wetland dependant species found here include all of the egrets and herons (including both night herons), glossy and white ibises, purple gallinules, limpkins and wood storks. Wood ducks and Florida mottled ducks are found year-round and the marshes are used extensively in fall and winter by migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Bald eagles, hawks, vultures, anhingas, ospreys and crested cara cara are commonly seen. In addition to previously mentioned wildlife, American and least bitterns, king rails, soras and fulvous whistling ducks may be viewed here. Primitive camping is allowed at designated sites.
Directions: Public access to the water management area is at the Blue Cypress Recreation Area, which can be reached from the CR 512 and SR 60 exits off I-95. From I-95, take Exit 156 (CR 512) and go west. Go through the town of Fellsmere and continue south on CR 512. The recreation area is 2 miles north of SR 60. You can also take the SR 60 (Vero Beach) exit from I-95. Go west on SR 60 for 7.5 miles. Turn right onto CR 512, then go north 2 miles.
Blue Cypress Restoration Area
N 27 39.762 W 80 38.667
Google Satellite Image

Lake Blue Cypress County Park
Lake Blue Cypress County Park is on the western shore of Lake Blue Cypress and other than Middleton's Fish Camp right next to the park this is the only kayak or boat access to the actual Lake. Paddle north from here along the western shoreline and you will know why the lake is so named. This is a beautiful paddle though stately cypress trees and grasses growing out of the water. Search the canopy of the trees for osprey and their nests. A little over a mile north of the park you will come to the mouth of a creek that makes a nice shaded canopy side trip.
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 (County Park) N 27 43.628 W 80 46.599

Google Satellite Image (County Park)
GPS (Mouth of Creek) N 27 44.444 W 80 46.475
Google Satellite Image (Mouth of Creek)