3 - Brown's Landing to Palatka


Put In:  Lat/Long 29°35’51”/81°38’17”

             End of Browns Landing Road (4065 Browns Landing Road)

Take Out:  Lat/Long 29°38’48”/81°37’41”

                   Kayak Launch at Palatka Riverfront Park

                   Southwest corner of Memorial Bridge

Distance:   7.5 miles

Planned Stops:  None

Difficulty:  Intermediate to Advanced

Estimated Time:  3 hours

Narrative Description: This paddle is entirely on the St. Johns River and includes two channel crossings. It is all downstream but is subject to windy conditions and the weather should be checked prior to launch. It is not advisable to paddle in winds over 12 mph on the river. The only take-out is along the route at Corky Bell’s - 5 miles downstream. 

The put-in is at Brown’s landing, approximately 5 miles from the Palatka Riverfront.  Shuttle service will be available from the clock tower cul-de-sac. The take-out is at the Patatka kayak launch by the clock tower.

Paddle along the Indian shore – western shore – of the river. Stay close to the banks to see the flora and fauna. About two miles downstream is Buzzard Island – a bird rookery where Great Blue Herons, Little Green Herons, Little Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Ibis, Cormorants, and Anhinga roost. Bald Eagles and Ospreys nest in the area as well.  As always, large toothy reptiles are home in these waters.

There are three Bartram Sites along this route – BT 8 Dunns Creek (on the opposite side of the river from the put-in); BT7 – Rollestown (on the eastern shore near the power lines); BT4 – Palatka at the take-out. The Palatka Bartram kiosk is at the take-out.

At mile 5, the river narrows quickly at Devil’s Elbow. Use caution crossing the channel.  Do so quickly - “No Lollygagging!”  Corkey Bell’s Seafood and Steaks has a large dock. It is easily seen and you can take out for a meal or beverages. 

The final two miles is along Hart Point – home of the famous Hart Line Riverboats which carried tourist up and down the St. Johns River to Silver Springs from 1860 until 1920. The final steamship Hiawassee was scuttled at the point just before Memorial Bridge.

Use caution crossing the river channel by the bridge. The landing is by the clock tower. 

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