Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida, often has an outfall that connects into the Gulf of Mexico.
Visitors who want to explore Lake Powell can rent single kayaks, tandem kayaks and paddleboards.
You're also welcome to bring personal equipment to use in both water bodies.
A public kayak launch is available at the trail head of the North Trail.
The hard surface walking path is roughly 375 feet from the parking lot to the water's edge.
A cart is recommended for transporting your vessel to the shoreline.
Wildlife are very active at the lake. While paddling, look for wild heron, egret, river otter, osprey and the occasional dolphin. On the shores, be sure to look for white-tailed deer. Snake encounters are possible so give them plenty of space.
When the lake’s outfall is open, both fresh and saltwater fish are available. Bring your tackle and try your luck with kayak fishing. Common catches include redfish, speckled trout, mullet and bass. Be sure you have a Florida fishing license.
The rental kiosk is located down the stairs in front of the lodge. The rentals are allowed only within Lake Powell, not in the Gulf of Mexico. Be safe and bring sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of water. Stop by the visitor center for directions or additional information.
The paddling season at Camp Helen State Park typically runs from April through Dec. 1, weather permitting. For up-to-date information regarding kayak and paddleboard rentals at the park, please call 850-238-1900.