and Pine Islands
|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
- 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
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 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.
||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.
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.
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.
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.