1000 Islands at Cocoa Beach – A Sea Life Paradise

1000 Islands Cocoa Beach

If you love fishing or paddle sports then the 1000 Islands at Cocoa Beach is a most wonderful place to explore! Unfortunately, there is little information to be found either in print or online about the 1000 Islands – until now!

Mangrove Tunnel
1000 Islands Mangrove Tunnel (click to enlarge)

Here we will share as much as we can find out about one of our favorite places in Brevard County. Maps, paddle routes, hiking trails (yes you can hike on some of the small islands), what to see and where to see it.

A Quick Summary of the 1000 Island Experience

  • Officially, it is called the Thousand Islands Conservation Area
  • The area is rich in sea life and birds and with scenic mangrove tunnels
  • It offers shelter from windy and choppy conditions on the rivers – easier paddling
  • The launch areas (Ramp Rd and Country Club) are easy to use.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings (GPS is suggested) – you can get lost!
  • It is best to stay on the outside channels during your first few visits until you are familiar with the conditions and geography
  • The water between the islands is mostly very shallow (6 inches to 2 feet at most). Do not bring a long skeg when using a SUP!
  • Dolphin and manatee will be in the deeper water so focus on the boating channels for sightings
  • Use the Church Tower (shown on our map below) as a navigational reference in case you get lost. The Launch is to its left!


Google Earth is a good place to start and we use Google Maps to plot our GPS waypoints and tracks. This is work in progress and it will be for many years to come – please know one can spend a lifetime in the 1000 Islands and still discover new mangrove tunnels, paddle routes and enclaves.

You can also open our 1000 Island Map in a browser on your phone.

On the map you can see the launch areas, hiking trails, important waypoints (junctions, etc) and tracks of paddle trips. There are hundreds more routes to paddle and we will add others over time!

Please click on each icon or track for more information and pictures.

Tour Companies and Rentals

Please read our Guide for Paddle Tours and Rentals for more information about guided tours and rentals at the 1000 Islands.

Hiking Trails

Who knew you can hike on one of the 1000 Islands! As shown on our map, North Crawford island to the north of Ramp Rd has a short 0.4 mile flat trail and a nice little ramp to launch your SUP or kayak.

The trail itself is not very exciting but it gives one an opportunity to photograph birds and learn about plants that are not so easy to do from a wobbly kayak or SUP!

Hiking Trail Launch
1000 Islands Hiking Trail Launch (click to enlarge)