Flowing between Brevard and Indian River Counties, the dark waters of the St. Sebastian River twist and turn as it streams into the Indian River Lagoon. The Sebastian is a beautiful natural river that offers amazing “real” Florida scenery as well as a nice current and obstacles that will challenge both the beginner and intermediate paddler.
The South Prong of the river where we paddled is scenic and offers various vegetation of both salt and fresh water as well as a mixture of trees that include palm, pine, cypress and oak. The wildlife is diverse as well, on a good day eagles and ospreys soar in the sky while alligators, turtles and wading birds meander around the waters edge.
After heavy rains, the current of the river can be strong making it treacherous due to the twists and turns as well as the occasional blockages in the narrow sections. This is not a paddle I recommend to do alone.
There are two launch points:
1. Sebastian Canoe/Kayak launch located on Canoe Launch Cove, Sebastian, Florida. This one is great for a paddle down stream.
2. Dale Winbrow Park located on Airport Drive, Sebastian Fl. This launch is good for an up and back trip which is what we did. It offers a nice launch and dock, restrooms and free parking.
At this launch point, the river is very wide and the current is negligible. If you are going up river, paddle to the right, the left is a dead end.
Within the first half mile, you will pass this dock.
And you will probably pass other paddlers.
The river makes a few turns and you will pass a few houses.
As you continue up stream, the river can be deceptive. There are many “dead ends” that branch off of it. If you don’t have a map of the river, as a rule of thumb and to avoid these, let the current be your guide.
As you move up river, it begins to narrow and its natural beauty reveals itself.
The river continues to narrow and the current gets stronger. A few obstacles will present themselves but there is a path through all of them.
Further up, it narrows even more with other obstacles and an even stronger current.
The only area we found to rest was here. On the bank at the top, there is a bench to sit on and a small field to walk and stretch your legs.
The river continues to get smaller and faster the further up you go but it’s worth it because the scenery is gorgeous.
After four plus miles we had to turn around because the weather turned bad and lightening was filling the sky. This was our furthest point, but we plan to paddle the St. Sebastian again soon.
We hope you have enjoyed this trip with us up the St. Sebastian River. If you have been there, let us know in the comments section.
Find your headwaters,
2 thoughts on “The Beauty of the St. Sebastian River”
Nice photos! Brought back memories of when I lived in Brevard County and paddled, rowed, and sailed in the Banana and Indian Rivers……. in the 1980’s!
Back then , I think the only sit on top kayaks were made by Ocean Kayak. Real sleds, but a new concept! Great post!