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Exploring Mosquito Lagoon: Kayaking Adventures in New Smyrna Beach


Mosquito Lagoon Kayaking

Exploring Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve

The Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve is a beautiful protected area located in Volusia county near New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater, Florida. This preserve, which encompasses over 21,000 acres of water and wetlands, is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including numerous species of fish, birds, and marine mammals. The area borders Canaveral National Seashore and is recognized as an important ecological and recreational resource and is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Exploring the Lagoon

One of the best ways to explore the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve is by kayaking. Kayaking is a great way to see wildlife and experience the great ecological wonders that calls the lagoon home. Visitors can rent kayaks or bring their own, and launch from a number of locations in the area. One of the most popular starting points is the Apollo Beach Visitor Center, which offers kayak rentals, guided tours, and a wealth of information about the lagoon and its ecology.

Kayaking the Lagoon

As you paddle through the calm waters of the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning natural scenery that surrounds you. The lagoon is lined with lush mangrove forests and teeming with life. Keep an eye out for birds such as ospreys, pelicans, and herons, which are often seen fishing in the water. You may also spot fish jumping out of the water or skimming along the surface.

Mosquito Lagoon Wildlife

The real stars of the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve are the thousands of dolphins and manatees that call the area home. Dolphins are one of the most beloved marine mammals, and they are a common sight in the lagoon. These intelligent and social creatures are known for their playful behavior and acrobatic displays, making them a joy to watch from a kayak. Visitors to the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve can often spot dolphins swimming in pods, leaping out of the water, or surfacing for air. While it is possible to kayak near dolphins, it is important to remember to give them plenty of space and not to disturb them. Dolphins are a protected species, and it is illegal to harass or harm them in any way.

Florida Manatees in the Lagoon

Manatees, also known as sea cows, are another fascinating species that call the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve home. These gentle giants are herbivores and spend much of their time grazing on seagrass, which is abundant in the lagoon. Visitors to the area can often spot manatees swimming lazily just below the surface of the water, or even resting on the bottom. Like dolphins, manatees are a protected species, and it is important to be cautious when kayaking near them to avoid accidental collisions. Manatees are particularly vulnerable to collisions with boats, and it is crucial to observe speed limits and other safety guidelines when kayaking in areas where manatees are known to live.

How To Find The Aquatic Preserve

New Smyrna Beach is a nearby coastal city that is often included as part of a kayaking trip to the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve. It is located just a few miles to the east of the preserve, and it offers a variety of attractions and amenities for visitors. One of the most popular activities in New Smyrna Beach is kayaking through the mangrove tunnels that line the shore. These tunnels provide a unique and immersive experience, allowing kayakers to get an up-close look at the intricate ecosystem that thrives within the mangroves.

Activities In The Lagoon

In addition to kayaking through the tropical mangrove islands, visitors to New Smyrna Beach can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at the beach. The town is known for its relaxed atmosphere and laid-back vibe, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of kayaking in the preserve. Visitors can stroll through the charming downtown area, browse unique shops and boutiques, and sample fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants.

Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a fun outdoor activity, the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve and New Smyrna Beach have something to offer. With its abundant wildlife, peaceful waterways, and stunning natural scenery, it is easy to see why this area has become such a popular destination for kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Manatees eating leaves from Red Mangroves in the Mosquito Lagoon side of Canaveral National Seashore
Manatees eating red mangroves in the Mosquito Lagoon

Plan Your Trip

Indian River Lagoon Kayaking

The Eldora Statehouse at Canaveral National Seashore is preserved for it's historic significance by the National Register of Historic Places. This part of the National Park is in the Indian River Lagoon.
The Eldora Statehouse at Canaveral National Seashore is preserved for it's historic significance by the National Register of Historic Places.

How to Explore the Lagoon

If you’re planning a visit to the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve and New Smyrna Beach, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your boat or kayak trip:

  1. Rent a kayak: There are several places in the area where you can rent kayaks, including the Apollo Beach Visitor Center. Renting a kayak is a great option if you don’t have your own, and it allows you to explore the lagoon at your own pace.
  2. Take a guided tour: If you’re new to kayaking or want to learn more about the area, a guided tour can be a great option. There are several companies that offer guided tours of the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve and the mangrove islands in New Smyrna Beach.
  3. Pack plenty of water and snacks: Kayaking can be a strenuous activity, so it’s important to stay hydrated and fueled up. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you energized and hydrated throughout your trip.
  4. Wear sunscreen and a hat: The Florida sun can be intense, even in the cooler months. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin and stay comfortable on your kayak trip.
  5. Respect the wildlife: The dolphins and manatees that call the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve home are a highlight of any trip to the area. However, it’s important to respect their space and avoid disturbing them. Be sure to follow the rules and guidelines set in place to protect these amazing creatures.


Explore New Smyrna Beach

Kayaking the Mosquito Lagoon Aquatic Preserve and exploring New Smyrna Beach is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and diversity of Florida’s coastal environment. The area is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including dolphins and manatees, making it a unique and unforgettable destination for nature lovers. By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip while also helping to protect this amazing ecosystem for generations to come.