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Wabasso and Pine Islands

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Difficulty: Basic/Moderate Scenery: Good
Location: Vero Beach,
Indian River County
Distance: 8 mile circumnavigation of Wabasso and Pine Islands.
Atlas: Page 96 B-3
Last Update: July 2003 Canoe OK: No

Photos only Photo-trip - limited details.


Located 10 miles north of Vero Beach and sandwiched in the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) is Wabasso Island. To the west lies the small town of Wabasso, where expensive is a $150,000 house. To the east is Orchid Island, where dirt cheap is $1,500,000 and expensive is more like $32 million. In between is a great east coast paddling destination. If you combine it with fishing for 'reds and sea trout, you'll have one heck of a day.


From the intersection of SR 60 and I-95 in Vero Beach, go east on SR 60 to US 1. Turn north (left) on US 1 and go approximately 10 miles to the small town of Wabasso. Turn east (right) on County Road 510. Cross over the flat causeway bridge. At the east end of the bridge is Wabasso Causeway Park and boat ramp. Put-in at the boat ramp or anywhere along the south side of the park. You can also access the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge from this put-in.

Wabasso and Pine Islands Photographs

Wabasso and Pine Islands;Wabasso Island looking north.

Wabasso Island
The 51 acre island is dominated on both north and east sides by large, expensive homes. On the south you'll find the Environmental Learning Center. Although most maps show a channel between Wabasso and Pine Island, we have yet to find a way to circumnavigate the small island.
Wabasso and Pine Islands;Wabasso Causeway Park.

Wabasso Causeway Park
Wabasso Causeway Park is your put-in (and take-out) for this trip. It has facilities for launching boats and kayaks, fishing, cooking grills, covered picnic tables, restrooms, and best of all, showers! Water surrounding the park teems with sea trout, redfish and sheepshead so bring a fishing pole.
Wabasso and Pine Islands;Pelican;Pelican Island NWR.

Pelican Island NWR
America's first National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island NWR, is part of the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem, a 155 mile long habitat with over 4,300 species of wildlife and plants. Note: The small, three acre Pelican Island is a No Entry Zone and permission is required to access it.
Wabasso and Pine Islands;Pine Island.

Pine Island
Pine Island is located directly to the south of Wabasso. Circumnavigating both islands takes about 3 hours and covers 8 miles. Mangrove and large, expensive homes line the waterways. On the east side of Pine Island, follow the ICW to approximately channel marker 110 and cut over between Pine and Barker Islands.
Wabasso and Pine Islands;Hole in the Wall Island.

Hole-in-the-Wall Island
Follow the east side of Pine Island south and you'll enter an area known as the Jungle Trail Narrows. Water skiers and PWC owners fly by, but don't let that discourage you. My favorite area of this trip is close by at the southern tip of Pine Island. Hole-in-the-Wall and its neighbor Barker Island feature interesting nooks, crannies and miniature lagoons to explore.

Wabasso and Pine Islands;Environmental Learning Center;ELC.

Wabasso E.L.C.
The Environmental Learning Center (E.L.C) on Wabasso Island gives visitors the opportunity to experience flora and fauna of the island via hiking trails, guided nature walks and elevated boardwalk. Learning labs and hands-on activities are available for kids of all ages. The Center also has a wonderful gift shop. You can get local ICW maps here.