John D. Macarthur Beach State Park, FL

Paddleboarding through Macarthur Beach State Park, but not technically by going to the state park. We rented boards through South Florida Paddle, which is a mobile company that you meet on the side of A1A on Singer Island just south of the actual park entrance. I’ll have my own board eventually and plop in whenever and wherever I feel like it, but for now I liked this company because you didn’t have to pay any park fees like you have to at so many Florida parks. We walked across the street with our boards, climbed under the railing, and paddled out from the mangroves. If you drive on A1A you’ll see a spot where the pedestrian hand rail along the sidewalk ends on the west side. Park in the dirt across the street and walk across to scramble through and mangroves and into the water. I guess this is a public launch area, so they say.

I’ve paddleboarded and kayaked quite a few times and this was probably my favorite so far in terms of the trail. The water was pretty low in some areas so technically you could’ve waded but it was cool standing atop the water and seeing the puffer fish and rays swimming beneath us. We paddled through mangrove trails to the bridge leading to Munyon Island. I was barefoot so I didn’t do much of the trail on the island. It was a nice, fairly typical Florida trail with lots of palms. It got a little dense at one point so we turned around because this isn’t Dual Survival and I’m not trying to walk through snakes without shoes.

We continued around some islands and through mangroves looking for wildlife and saw several spotted eagle rays. This is Florida so of course there are often manatees and dolphins in this area but I didn’t see any that day. I recommend this area to paddle somewhere away from boats and condos.

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