The Intracostal Waterway is unique to Florida, traveling for some 430+ miles from Key West to the Georgia border. It’s a man made canal that allows travel between fresh water rivers and the ocean. The water level fluctuates with the tides. It’s home to an array of species, including such birds as herons and pelicans, and many kinds of fresh and saltwater mixed aquatic animals and fish.
Here on Anastasia Island, the Intracoastal forms a border for the island, along with the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas (some call it Matanzas River, some call it the Inlet; Inlet is a good description, as it intermingles with the Intracoastal). There are several Parks along the Intracoastal, each one providing a different view and different water depths. Most parks are split by Highway A1A, so you get the best of both the beach on one side, and the Intracoastal on the other side. Some are county parks that a free, and some are state parks with a small fee per vehicle. Some also have places to came, either on the Intracoastal side or beachside, or both. No matter where you are on the Intracoastal, you will not be disappointed at the beauty of it and its surroundings,
We have been to several Intracoastal Parks, but this one in particular is actually named Intracoastal Park. We went to the beach side and the Intracoastal side. It was low tide and we could see Fort Mantazas across the marsh grass. Some people have attempted to walk through the marsh to the Fort, but the Rangers frown upon this and it’s not a very good idea. The wet sand in the marsh, although it looks dry, can be like quicksand. Also, if you’re out there when the tide starts coming in, depending on the weather, the tide may come in faster than expected. There is a free ferry that will take you to the fort from the river side. (Covid has affected this, so check out their schedule before going).
We spotted lots of wildlife, including the famous egret and gopher tortoise. When you visit either side of these parks, please be sure you throw all your trash in the proper trash bins or take it back out with you. These animals depend on the environment to keep them safe and trash can harm these gentle creatures. Many of you may have seen gopher holes on the beach and not known what critter made its’ home there. A little tip to tell the difference in the holes is the larger ones are usual the tortoise, and the smaller ones are probable for either rabbits or mice.
I’m sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve been able to post to the blog, due to hubs being on the AT, it’s been hard to do his videos on YouTube and post things to our blog too. For those following both, we greatly appreciate it. I am going to try to post more to our blog coming up when I’m able to venture out to some of the more open spaces without too many people. Everyone stay safe during this pandemic and we’ll all be traveling RVers again very soon!
We recommend checking out the Intracoastal and its many parks along the way. It’s an experience worth repeating too!