Insider's Guide to Paddleboarding Near St. George Island

Posted by Erik Weston on 8:29 PM on August 31, 2018

In Win Vacation, Insider, Paddleboard, Fitness, Workout

Paddleboarding is a relaxing way to explore the coast and stunning waterways of St. George Island, Florida. Not only is it a slow-paced way to soak up the sun and make memories with your family, but it also offers several key health benefits. 

Paddleboarding has been shown to improve coordination and balance, is a low impact, whole body workout, improves endurance and is a great way to build and tone muscle. While gliding across the water and taking in the sights of the island, you’ll barely notice the workout you’re getting in! St. George Island offers many beautiful spots to put your paddle in the water and explore. Here are some local favorites:

Beach Side Paddleboarding

When most people think about paddleboarding, they picture themselves gracefully balancing on a board right off the beach. This is a popular option for the sport, and since St. George Island is, well...an island, there is no shortage of gorgeous coastlines and calm waters. The St. George Island public beach access point, right by the lighthouse and bridge to the mainland, is an easily accessible spot to start your paddleboarding adventure. This access point has public bathrooms, pavilions, grills and showers to use after a morning out on the water. If you have a waterproof camera, bring it out on the board and get a selfie with the famous lighthouse, the Cape St. George Light.

Apalachicola River

For a completely different paddleboarding experience, the Apalachicola River is another favorite spot for both locals and tourists alike. The river is formed on the Florida/Georgia line and travels over 110 miles before draining into the Gulf. The St. George Island portion of the river is a calm and peaceful place to spend the day on the water. The Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System breaks the vast body of water into 11 smaller trails, perfect for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. The trails range from easy paths that are great for beginners and can be completed in a few hours to longer, more challenging trips. Some popular routes include: 

  • Grassy Creek and Acorn Lake (10-12 miles)
  • Sand Beach Loop Trail (10-14 miles)
  • Graham Creek and East River (2-4 miles)

Apalachicola National Forest

The largest forest in Florida, the Apalachicola National Forest offers babbling streams, flowing rivers and pristine lakes. About an hour from St. George Island, it’s worth the trip to experience the breathtaking scenery of this impressive forest. Each stream within the forest has its own characteristics, making each ride different than the next. Watch out for low hanging branches, and you may have to navigate around fallen logs. The beautiful thing about paddling through the forest is that in most of the streams, should you fall off your board, you can touch the bottom at most points of the river.

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park

The beaches of this state park are some of the best on the island for shelling and enjoying the picturesque coastline. The nine miles of shoreline have been ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in America!  During the summer months, the beaches are busy with both beach-goers and a variety of seabirds and even turtles. The canoe and kayak launch ramp is the perfect place to get your board in the water and head out into the warm bay waters. After a challenging workout on your board (or a relaxing trip down the bay) the park offers nature trails to explore, pavilions for a picnic, a playground, public restrooms and both gulf and bay fishing.

Adding paddleboarding to your vacation is not only a great way to burn off dinner from Paddy’s Raw Bar, or justify an extra scoop of ice cream from Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream Shop, but it brings families together and allows everyone to connect with nature. And while paddleboarding doesn’t require much equipment, the boards and paddles can be a lot to get from your home to your rental without a hassle. Rent a paddleboard so that it’s ready and waiting for you when you arrive at your St. George Island rental home. Boards come on your schedule, and we’ll pick them up when you’re ready. 

One final note. Not all paddleboards are created equal. The Yolo Yak board is the most durable multi-use Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) in the industry, and you can rent one easily by clicking here!