Camping the ICW?

The Intracoastal Waterway runs through Galveston Bay just a couple of miles from my bay house on west Galveston Island. It’s flanked on both sides by spoil banks that look like nice long tall (for our area) islands, complete with vegetation. I’ve often used it as a picnic spot or just a place to stretch my legs. I was wondering, is it legal to camp overnight on ICW spoilbanks? If I ever did it, I would camp on the side facing away from the channel.

I have wondered myself
I would like one day to paddle from north to south through Florida one day. I guess the answering party is the corp of army engineers, so let me know when you get through the red tape.



my philosophy …
better to ask forgiveness than permission. in my exerience, if you ask first, someone will puff themselves up, assume unwarranted power, and tell you NO. if you should happen to encounter someone while camping and that someone tells you “hey, you can’t camp here” … you have only to say “oh, sorry” and leave.

i’ve camped along the ICW in NC several times without incident.

You’re probably right
I imagine there would be no problem where I would be camping. I just don’t want to set off a terror alert, have some overvigilant boat sheriff or tug pilot see me camping and think I am Al Queda there to ambush a passing barge full of all the flammable stuff they are always carrying.

I’m not sure I’ll ever camp there, but if I do, I’ll probably just assume it is okay and do it, and if anyone tells me to move on - like you said. It would suck to have to paddle across the bay at 3 in the morning, though.

3 in the morning?
not to worry … the sherrif is sleeping at 3 AM.

and remember to “Paddle softly and leave no trace.”

Stay safe on the water


I’ve done it down South…
I’m not sure about the island up near Galveston, but I’m way down South Texas and have done overnight trips just South of Port Mansfield and almost all the way to South Padre Island… From the Port Mansfield channel North, to just South of Corpus Christi, is National Park land (Padre Island National Seashore.) South of the channel it becomes County land. I have never had a problem camping out there… I highly recommend it – very peaceful and quiet. Be sure to take a fishing pole and for the night time, some sort of spearing device (for crab) and a net (with fine mesh, for shrimp) All you need is a good flash light to see the shrimp’s eyes and the crab – as the water is only a few inched deep. Hell, the meal alone is worth the trip! Good luck

– Kelly