Paddle Pumpkin Hill

a moon rises over a grassy creek

Along a tributary of the Nassau River, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is a paddler’s dream. Enjoy the pristine marsh waters between Black Hammock Island and Pumpkin Hill Creek from your canoe, kayak or paddleboard. 

A haven for wading birds and shore birds, dolphins and otters, the creek provides the wonderful feeling that you are far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Listen to the sounds of the flowing water, snaps and pops from the oyster beds, singing birds, and the wind rustling through the marsh grass. 

As you paddle through the water, travel back in time to when the Spanish missionaries were heading to the southern tip of Black Hammock Island and the Mission of Santa Cruz y San Bueneventura de Guadalquini. Imagine how different it would have looked back in 1684 when the mission was re-established after being burned down by pirates and moved from St. Simons Island in Georgia.

Paddle north toward the open waters of the Nassau River and Edwards Creek that feeds it, or head south for a slower pace toward Cedar Point Road. 

The waterway changes names at the road and becomes Cedar Creek, flowing south toward the St. Johns River. For a more leisurely cruise, let the changing tides assist in your adventure while you relax.

Don’t forget your fishing gear. Red drum, flounder and sea trout are just a few of the sport fish that inhabit Pumpkin Hill Creek.

Pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic tables at the scenic canoe and kayak launch, and take in the picturesque vista overlooking Pumpkin Hill Creek and the surrounding marsh.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the original North Florida was like, then take up a paddle at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. You won’t regret this retreat into nature and history.