Boating

Lox Road Water Landscape

 

Boating in the Everglades

Boating is a great way to explore the habitats of the Everglades at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). We welcome canoes and kayaks on the 5.5-mile canoe trail, within the perimeter canal, and in the Refuge Interior. Water-cooled motor boats are welcome in the perimeter canal and in the Motorized Zone of the Refuge Interior.

Boating in the waters of the Everglades is a task for the skilled boater. Outside of the main canals, treacherous passes and trails cut through banks of mud and sawgrass. Safely exploring the Refuge, while protecting sensitive Everglades habitats and wildlife, requires the ability to "read the water". Watch for wildlife and other vessels while underway. Floating vegetation and changing water levels can block canals and hide boat trails. Propeller damage is harmful to wet prairie habitats, please be careful when navigating in shallow waters. 

See map for more information.

Know Before You Go

  • Watch for changing weather conditions.
  • Maintain your vessel and operate it responsibly.
  • Tell a relative or friend where you are going and when you should return.
  • Respect wildlife and keep your distance. Learn more about wildlife viewing on the Refuge here.
  • Bring a GPS navigation system and know how to use it. Cell phone coverage can be sporadic and sometimes unreliable.
  • Be prepared. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring water, snacks, insect repellent, sun protection, a first aid kit, and an emergency light.

Rules and Regulations

  • Federal, state, and Refuge regulations apply. Boaters should have all required U.S. Coast Guard approved safety equipment on-board.
  • Motorized vessels with water-cooled outboard engines or electric engines, and non-motorized watercraft are allowed. Airboats are prohibited without a permit. Jet skis, wave runners, Go Devils, hovercrafts, and air-cooled boat motors are prohibited.
  • Boating is not permitted in the A, B, and C Impoundments, Strazzulla, and those areas marked as being closed to the public.
  • All boats operating outside of the perimeter canal must display a 10” x 12” bright orange flag at least 10’ above the vessel’s waterline.
  • The speed limit is 35 mph in all Refuge waters.
  • There is a 500-foot (150-meter) Idle Speed Zone at each boat ramp.
  • A Refuge entrance pass is required, learn more here.


Boat Ramps
Boat ramps and parking lots are located at the Headquarters Area (Boynton Beach), the Hillsboro Area (Boca Raton), and 20-Mile Bend (West Palm Beach).

Canoe Trail
At the northernmost end of the southern Everglades, the Refuge offers paddlers a close-up view of a sensitive ecosystem, its resident alligators, and other wetland species. Paddlers follow a clearly marked, self-guided 5.5-mile loop.

Paddling Tours and Rentals
Guided canoe tours are offered seasonally. View our Calendar of Events to learn more. 

 

Canoes and kayaks may be rented onsite from Loxahatchee Canoeing. Please contact them at (561) 733-0192 or visit their website.