Kayaking Safety in Cape Coral
Southwest Florida contains miles and miles of canals, inlets, lakes, and bays as well as the Intercoastal Waterway, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caloosahatchee River. In fact, Cape Coral, Florida is home to 156 miles of freshwater canals, 222 miles of salt water / gulf access canals, and 31 miles of shoreline for easier boater access to the Gulf.
Saltwater canals refer to waterways that lead to the Gulf. These canals rim the south portion of the Cape, closest to the open waters. Freshwater canals lack open water access and part of the freshwater canal system contains a network of small lakes and basins for fishing.
Kayaking in Cape Coral
Locals and visitors enjoy alike Cape Coral kayaking. The Parks & Recreation Department rents kayaks at the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve on Saturdays in season, from mid-October through late-May. The Department offers multiple kayaking programs for beginner and advanced skill level kayakers.
The southwestern tip of the Cape Coral provides the quickest access to San Carlos Bay, Matlacha Pass, Sanibel Island, Pine Island, Captiva Island, and the Gulf. In addition, this area is just a four mile glide to the center of the well-known 190 mile long Calusa Blue Way Paddling Trail (https://www.leegov.com/parks/blueway).
Launching a Kayak in a Cape Coral Canal
Take your kayak to one of eight parks to launch into the canal system:
- BMX Boat Ramp
- Burnt Store Boat Ramp
- Chantry Canal / Rosen Park
- Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve
- Horton Park Boat Ramp
- Seahawk Park
- Sirenia Vista
- Yacht Club Boat Ramp
- Or you could launch right from your own dock with one of our Kayak Walkdowns!
Some of the more common fish in saltwater canals are mullet, snook, sheepshead, catfish, and mangrove snapper. On occasion, you will see dolphins and manatees in the canals as well as green iguana’s basking on a seawall or boat dock. The bird life of ospreys, pelicans, ibis, cranes, and even eagles is pretty neat to watch, too!
Safety when Kayaking in Cape Coral Waters
Remember, this is a power boat haven. While the canals are all no wake, in the open waters, boat lanes carry boats of all speeds, shapes, and sizes! To be safe, stay visible and out of the way even in the canals.
Finally, prior to kayaking, you might want to become familiar with boating safety and etiquette by contacting the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at (239) 549-1027. For kayak fishing guidelines, visit the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website at www.MyFWC.com.