Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park is only acessible by watercraft. So if you have a kayak, canoe, or powerboat, this State Park may be for you. Since there are no roads that extend into the boundaries of the preserve, you can expect a pristine "real Florida" experience amidst the salt marshes, mangrove islands, and tidal creeks. This is Florida's third largest state park at just over 19,000 acres - spanning 20 miles along the coastline from Cedar Key to Yankeetown.

Access to the park is available via a boat ramp on county road 40 in Yankeetown, from numerous sites in the Cedar Key area, and from a ramp on county road 326 southwest of Gulf Hammock. If you follow the navigation link on the map below, it will take you to the boat ramp on county road 326 at Wiccasassa Park - not because it is better or more popular, but because it is the one with the most centrally located access to Waccasassa Bay. Located on the Waccasassa River, the boat ramp and small park have restrooms and picnic tables. Launching into the preserve from Cedar Key or Yankeetown will involve navigating through the open Gulf waters.

If you launch from the Wiccasassa Park boat ramp, it will be about a 4 mile boat ride to Wiccasassa Bay and on to the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen with motorboats will particularly like this trip. If you are paddling a kayak or canoe, you might find it more interesting to go upstream from Wiccasassa Park. About 2/3 of a mile upstream from the boat ramp, the river will fork - stay to the left to continue up the Waccasassa River, or go right to go up the Wekiva River. You will see few, if any, motorboats in this area. Whichever way you head, be sure to bring adequate supplies of water and provisions - there are no facilities along the river or in the preserve, and you will not likely have any cellphone signal.

Four primitive campsites along the Big Bend section of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail are available on a first-come, first-served basis within the boundaries of Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park. One is at the mouth of the Waccasassa River, two are north of the river along the Gulf coast, and the fourth is south near Yankeetown. See the Section 6 navigational map link below for details of the locations.
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