Because the biggest body of freshwater in Jacksonville is the Intracoastal Waterway and its merger with the St. John’s River, this area withholds a lot of secret spots to paddle board.
Whether you’re craving a little nook that shields you from society or searching for a wide-open space to share with other paddleboarders, you won’t run short of options in Jax. Some of these locations also take the cake for offering great deals to rent a board if you do not personally own one. Let’s ride.
1. All Wet Sports
Sitting right where Big Pottsburg Creek meets St. John’s River, All Wet Sports is fantastic for paddle boarding your way through the most scenic little creek. You can rent a SUP paddle board for a whole hour at the super affordable rate of $18.69. If you want it for even longer, this place is very accommodating and provides an option to rent the board for the whole day. All Wet Sports is unique in that it allows dogs to hop aboard, and it is common to see turtles, crabs, and even manatees while you’re out and about! This place steals the show for animal sightings. They also have kayaks, wakeboards, wakeskates, kneeboards, and pretty much every other water-related flotation board you can think of.
2. Castaway Island Preserve
Offering a scenic view of the San Pablo River, Castaway Island Preserve protects more than 300 acres of coastal habitats that run alongside it. For anyone with family or interested in spending the whole day outdoors, this preserve also has a number of hiking trails. You can work your way through the trails until they end at the water’s edge, and jump right into stand-up paddleboarding to end the day. Castaway Island Preserve is also known for stork sightings and great bird-watching.
3. Guana River State Park
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Located right outside of Jacksonville, Guana River State Park has an array of outdoor activities that go above and beyond, while also offering some amazing views of wildlife in Ponte Vedra Beach. Guana River actually has paddling routes that run both north and south and allow all visitors to explore Lake Ponte Vedra. Aside from just the typical opportunity to paddleboard, Guana River State Park also gives you a chance for duck hunting (if you’re into that…), fishing, horseback riding, hiking, long-distance running, and cycling.
4. Hanna Park
With a 60-acre freshwater lake, Hanna Park truly embraces all water sports. They offer all park guests an option to rent kayak, canoe, and bike rentals. Unfortunately, you would have to bring your own stand-up paddleboard, but, of course, are welcome to paddle through Hanna Park. Just watch out – alligators are spotted here all the time, so don’t fall in! Hanna Park has extensive campgrounds, giving you a perfect place to stay for a true adventure.
And last, but not least, the most well-known spot for stand-up paddle boarding is the ocean. For anyone that loves to hop on the board, look around, and only see water, the Atlantic Ocean is the place to go. Plus, if you want to rent a paddle board but are not sure how to get it to the beach, Beach Life Rentals actually delivers paddle boards right to you if you call and ask for a board. All you have to do is name the spot! On a day when the water is calm with small waves, it’s easy to get the board out without much of a struggle. And sometimes, you even see a dolphin or two riding alongside your board in the ocean, which is ridiculously cool.
Whether you own a stand-up paddleboard or are merely interested in renting one for a short time, Jacksonville gives you quite the selection of places to go and paddle board. A big hint for discounts on these places is to check out Groupon and Local Flavor, also. They give you some good steals. So wait no longer and go get your paddleboard on.
Do you have a go-to spot to paddleboard in or around Jax? Next time you’re out on the water and stop for a selfie, don’t forget to tag us using #FrayLife for a chance to appear on our social media feeds.
Looking for some more paddleboarding spots in JAX? Check out these cool spots near downtown.
View More Articles By Lexi Aughenbaugh