Ten Thousand Islands

I’m trying to find some good information on the Ten Thousand Islands area in SW Florida NOT in Everglades NP, intending to kayak camp/tour the area for up to a week, depending on access to fresh water. Designated camp sites, rules and reg’s, permitting, maps/charts, multi day parking, etc. Self supported solo trip. I’m not having much luck with information for area north of the National Park boundry. Assuming launching out of Everglades City. Is the information resource for the whole area the National Park Service? Thanks for the help!

Launch Collier-Seminole SP
and access through the Blackwater River.

This is to the north end of the islands…Its awfully close to Marco Island and between it and EC there is that new condo complex with its own channel. Means motorboat campsites.

Have no info on campsites. I know there are some north of the National Park, but on my chart Picnic and Indian are in the NP.

I like waterproof chart 41 available at the hardware store in Everglades City.


Florida Bay Outfitters…
may help.

Nice folks running a great shop in Key Largo.

Check out thier website:


Great Campsites all over!
Cape Ramano, Gullivan, Panther and Camp Lulu are good campsites and there are many more in the area. You can park at a marina in Goodland or at a restrant, both of which Greyhawk can help with names. I’ve parked across the bridge from Goodland. Don’t be afraid to Park at the Ranger Station at Everglades City. Its a good safe put in.

Ten Thousand bits of paradise!
Thanks for the information about parking in Goodland. I’ve assumed the Ranger station in Everglades City is my #1 option. I’m still hoping for more resource information regarding camp sites on keys outside ENP…permits? Registration? Thanks again!

I havent camped outside ENR
but on trips to EC we have met people that are…and there are no permits needed. One of the reasons for camping outside ENR is that at times you cannot get a permit for that first night in ENR!

try this link. a lot of good info. I think it has what you are looking for

Sorry–forgot to post link here it is.


Outside the park …

– Last Updated: Feb-26-08 4:39 PM EST –

...is the Ten Thousand Islands Marine Preserve. No permits required for camping. There are several places posted no camping but if its not posted you can camp there. Almost all of the islands on the outside have sand beachs on the Western exposures. Camp Lulu is the first Island on the outside West of ENP and has good camping on the Eastern side but is posted no camping on the Western side. The structure on the island is from a Viet Nam Vet named Mike who checked out of syphlization many years ago and was famous for his new year party's he died not to long ago. Not far above that is Panther which has a very long beach facing West. Gullivan has a wonderfull sand spit NW side. There are plenty of campsites West of the park. They are popular with the motor boat crowd but this time of year it heaven on earth. Peace Joel

various ways to get in to the preserve
You can launch from Everglades City ranger station and head west via west pass to get to Camp Lulu then further is Panther, Hog, Whitehorse and Gullivan.

The launch from Collier Seminole state park is at the opposite extreme and so is the Goodland area. These launch sites will have you access Gullivan island first.

In the middle is Port of the Islands marina and that is where you see the Faka Union canal on the map that passes next to Panther Key.

An interesting paddle is to start your trip via the East River or more adventurous but not for the newbie, the Fakahatchee River. These will lead you down to Fakahatchee Bay and eventually to the gulf. You can get a map of the East River at the Everglades Ranger station for free. Trust me…YOU WILL NEED IT! There aren’t any good sources or aerial views of this area. I would be hesitant to leave a vehicle at the East River put in overnight. Ivey House can shuttle you there and leave a car at the ranger station.

Have fun!

Gullivan Bay
I just did the trip you’re looking at a few weeks ago. No permits, great beach camping nearly everywhere, get a chart, your GPS will often place potential waypoints on places that don’t quite jive with reality, there were alot of fishermen out of Goodland while I was out there, as well as three outward bound groups. I did a night crossing from Whitehorse key to Cape Romano and paddled in beautiful bioluminescence for half the way across. Pay attention to the green areas on the charts at water’s edge- that means dry at low tide and you need to believe it unless you enjoy carrying your gear a good distance from the beach to your boat over rock and mud and slime. I parked at Everglades national park canoe ramp in Everglades city- no charge and secure. THere is a fresh water spigot right at the launch area- take plenty of water- gallon a day. Time your paddle out to the Gulf through Indian key pass with the outgoing tide- ingoing when you come back- you’ll thank yourself- the current can kick up abit at a couple of the narrow channels in the pass. You could resupply with water in Goodland- I heard parking there was ten bucks a nite at the marina. Some park on the bridge into Goodland, but security might be a question- I did it once for 5 days and had no problem. There is also a boat ramp at the southern end of Marco that you could resupply from. Have your navigation skills down very well if you plan on paddling inside among the various individual keys- easy to get lost when everything looks the same. You will have a wonderful time guaranteed. Cheers

Best way to get permits is to sleep in front of the Ranger Station and be first in line otherwise you are out. Calling down before your trip to see what is already reserved helps as well because you can re-adjust based on what’s already reserved from 5,7 & 10 day trips. The rangers are good in letting you know what’s available. Christmas and Presidents weekend trips - forget about it. That’t their busy season. It was fun to watch the Range you had to take the poop barge out to Sunday Bay Chickee and clean it up. Now that’s a job. Have fun in 10,000 and post back about it - would like to know.

YouTube Link

– Last Updated: Apr-10-08 11:01 AM EST –

This gives you all the major access points - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nef8hpqitpY

10k islands info
hey go to the left sidebar, places 2 paddle, florida then the very first review is from one of my trips to this area…many places to camp, no permit needed.

10K Islands
Much of what follows has already been posted but here’s my experience, gleaned from 8 multiday trips to area

No permits nor fees are required to camp N of ENP.(Rangers say this may change but hasn’t yet) Collier Seminole requires $5/night pkg fee. I was unable to locate private facility in Goodland for pkg/launch but appears others have. We always use E City ranger station. They ask that you file floatplan for overnights N of ENP but welcome launch & overnight pkg. (pick up free tidetable) Using this access you’ll get to travel thru portion of ENP. Unless you’re fighting incoming tide in Indian Key Pass(or get turned around using alt rte, you can make Lulu key (1st campsite outside ENP) in less than 3 hrs (last trip we took 2:20 in 16 Penobscot loaded w/ gear & 17gal water)

Avoid camping on Round key. Lowtide spit is scenic but rats are relentless. Unlimited campsites N of Round but chose exposure carefully to avoid constant view of Marco’s highrises. We like a small site on NE side of White Horse w/ mangrove shade available & blocked view of Marco but there’s a very popular campsite nearby. Expect LOTS of motorboat traffic on weekends. Go weekdays & enjoy