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Canaveral National Seashore (Beaches)

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info


Jul 2023
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (8)

Snapshots! (7)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
How Big Not Rated
Importance Not Rated
Revisit? B
Birding B *
Wildlife Not Rated
Summer Heat D
Terrain B
Fun Hike B *
Maintained A
Mosquitos B
Biting Files A
Ticks A
NOTE: Not lots of speices but interesting behavior
NOTE: Though limited to beach
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 7605 Co Rd A1a, New Smyrna Beach, FL, Volusia, USA, 32169
Miles Location
12Ponce Inlet
13.8Indian River Manatee Observation
14.9Scrub Ridge Trail
16.3Indian River Lagoon
17.8Port Orange, FL

1) What It's Like

A large stretch of completely wild beach - a pretty rare thing in Florida. This place includes more than the beach but I'll discuss them as part of Indian River Lagoon and Merritt island though technically parts of them are part of this - those parts have trails etc on them.

2) Kinds of Birds

Shorebirds that act in ways they don't get to on the small beaches we usually see them on. Not so many gulls and pelicans though.

3) Wildlife

It's a wild beach so you might see interesting sea creatures wash up or be encrusted on drifting debris.

4) Amenities

Composting toilets. That is all. Also a view of NASA I suppose. So toilets and NASA.

5) Directions

There are multiple numbered beaches. We picked a couple in the middle and they both looked the same. You can get here from the north or south - we came from the south (Merritt Island).

6) Time Requirements

It takes awhile to drive out there. I'd assume you'd spend at least half an hour wandering around but there's limits to how long you can explore a beach.


It's wide stretch of completely wild beach - it's like a wilderness. I believe the only reason it's here along with Merritt island in general is because of it's proximity to Kennedy Space Center in case something blows up. In my mind this place is just the barrier islands off Indian River Lagoon - but looking at a map part of Merritt Island and the ocean facing part of NW Indian River Lagoon is part of this park.

People can use the area like a normal beach - towels, swimsuits, etc. But mostly people come to look and maybe fish. Zero amenities except composting toilets at the parking areas. Also I think there are rip currents here, the waves aren't small.

You tend to see unusual stuff washed up on the beach. Travel to other parts of the world and it's normal but you don't normally see driftwood with all kinds of clams etc growing on it and just left there. It's kind of fascinating to watch some of the plovers/shorebirds here because rather than just being stuck in one spot hiding from humans they suddenly make sense in the environment. They run run run - see something to eat (maybe that drift wood) - then run run run and it goes on as they come into view and get to far away and now there's a new batch showing up.

The sand dunes are impressive as well as the boardwalks over them.

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