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Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting - Fishing

Cedar Key to Snake Key, Florida USA
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Gorgeous Beach at Snake Key with Seahorse Key in View

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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Al Vazquez,
  • Date Submitted: 11/2010
  • Location: Cedar Key, Florida USA on the Gulf of Mexico
  • Class: Gulf of Mexico is typically Class 1 during calm weather, but high waves can occur during windy periods
  • Distance Paddled: about 7 miles round trip from the town of Cedar Key
  • Water: salt water
  • Wildlife: dolphins, pelicans, egrets, herons, mullet
  • Special Regulations: Interiors of these islands are all designated National Wildlife Refuges. To protect wildlife, entry is prohibited without a permit. Atsena Otie Key does, however, have a path leading to a historic cemetery with permitted access to the public. Public use is otherwise permitted only on the island beaches year-round, except on Seahorse Key, which has a closed beach from March 1 to June 30 in order to protect nesting birds from human disturbance.


Entry and Exit

  • Directions: If southbound on Interstate 75, exit at Gainesville directly onto Route 24 southwest toward Archer and Bronson and follow it to Cedar Key. From Interstate 75 northbound from the turnpike, exit at Ocala onto Route 27 northwest. In Williston, take Route 27 ALT northwest to Bronson. In Bronson, turn left onto Route 24 southwest to Cedar Key. In Cedar key, turn left (east) onto 2nd street and go three blocks to the public beach on the right (south).
  • GPS: N 29.13677 W 083.02946 degrees (actual )
  • Fee: None
  • Description: Public beach
  • Parking: paved
  • Facilities: Restrooms and pavilion, restaurants and hotels adjacent to launch point. On the way to Snake Key, we stopped at Atsena Otie Key where there is a restroom and information kiosk on the hiking trail to the cemetery. We were fortunate to stay at the Old Fenimore Mill where we launched on a nice sand beach just outside our balcony on the gulf.
  • Special Handicap Access: None

Where We Paddled and What We Saw

Paddling south from the beaches of Cedar Key, Snake Key is the second closest large island about 3 miles away.

We paddled south along the inlets and beaches on the east side of Atsena Otie Key and continued across almost 2 miles of open water to Snake Key.

Dolphins swam near us to investigate our group of three kayakers.

As we approached the island, the bottom varied in color from light green sand to darker areas until we approached the shallow incline of the sand beach.

There is a gorgeous sand beach on the north side of Snake Key at:

GPS: N 29.09899 W 083.03266 degrees (actual )

But paddlers should beware of landing on many other beaches and "sand bars" with sharp clam shells that can scratch a kayak or canoe or worse; cut feet.

Kayaking back, we paddled north around the west side of Atsena Otie Key and east across the town of Cedar Key's waterfront back to the beach entry point. Terms of Use


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