Launch Location: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Personal Notes: We have been trying to do a paddle out to Stiltsville for some years now. Something would always prevent the trip from too rough of ocean conditions to personal illness.
We went out with a group from the South Florida Kayaking Meetup group. It was great being part of a group with a leader that had made this trip before. One person did turn back due to her kayak being not suitable for the two to three foot waves and strong currents that we experienced on this trip.
We visited all seven of the remaining houses and stopped at one of them for lunch. At this house a few people put on their snorkel gear and reported that there was lots to see and very clear water. I personally didn’t snorkel, although I did bring gear. If we ever do this paddle again I would prefer to visit less houses and spend a few house snorkeling in the shallows as I love snorkeling in shallow water.
After a bit over four hours out on the water we returned to the launch area, relaxed in the water next to the beach and portage our kayaks and all of our gear back to our car. Exhausted and a bit sunburned we drove home.
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Fees: $8.00 per vehicle to get into the park plus a toll of $1.75 per car or $10.50 if you have a trailer to cross the Rickenbacker Causeway in order to get to the island.
Description: Stiltsville is a group of wood stilt houses located one mile south of Cape Florida on sand banks of the Safety Valve on the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The best place to launch a kayak from is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park with some caveats. You will need to portage your kayak several hundred feet to the beach. We used our Harmony Stowaway with All Terrain Wheels Kayak Cart along with our Wonder Wheeler Beach Cart With Ultra Wide Wheels.
Even with these two items it is still an exhausting trip to and from the beach area, especially in the hot summer heat. This is the only area in the park that you are permitted to launch and make land from.
Kayak Rentals Availability: Single person kayaks or hydro-bikes are available for $20.00 per hour. Double kayaks and double hydro-bikes are available for $30.00/hour. Paddleboards are available for $30.00/hour or $195.00 for 10 hours. There is also bike rentals and more.
Amenities: Public restrooms, restaurant, lighthouse tours, trails, fresh water showers, picnic pavilion, BBQ grills, boat camping and more.