Amazing Paddles on Amelia Island - No. 7 Egans Creek
Egans Creek is part of a greenway consisting of over 300 acres of preserved marshland. This makes paddle boarding down Egans Creek like going back in time. The creek and marsh were used by the Timucuan Indians to gather food, primarily shellfish, over 2000 years ago. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries pirates used the smaller tributaries of the creek to hide. Rumors have it they buried treasure here as well.
Even more recently bank robbers dumped suit cases full of money into the creek. Unfortunately for them a home owner observed the robbers in the act and reported them to the Sheriff. Local divers working on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department recovered the suitcases. We watched them pull one of the suitcases up during one of our tours - truly unbelievable.
The natural beauty combined with all the history of the area make this a unique experience. With shallow tributaries there are few ways better to explore the Egans Creek greenway than on a stand-up paddle board (SUP).
From the boat ramp at Leaders and Sinkers we head east. Before leaving the area keep an eye out for manatee. They love to feed in and around the docks in the marina. Continue to paddle east past the marina. On your left to the north is the marsh and Ft. Clinch State Park. After you pass the marina you will paddle by a number of beautiful homes overlooking the marsh.
Eventually the creek turns in a more southerly direction. As it does if you look off in a southeast direction you may notice a light house peeking out above the tree line. The Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the country. It was constructed back in 1838 largely from brick taken from the Little Cumberland Island light house.
Continuing down the creek and you will come to Atlantic Ave. At this point we head out of the main creek and into the tributaries. Head east at Atlantic Ave and follow the tributary all the way to the tree line. Exploring the tributaries is the best part of the paddle boarding tour. If you are lucky you may see an alligator. Even more rare is to see a dolphin. You will also see a variety of birds including herons, egrets and red winged black birds.
Follow the tributary along the tree line until it dead ends. From here you can choose a couple different tributaries to take you back to the main channel of the creek. Watch out for dead ends. Be mindful of the tide as you don’t want to get stuck out in the marsh with no water. Once back to the main channel follow it north west back to Leaders and Sinkers.
This paddle board tour begins and ends at the Leaders and Sinkers Bait Shop and Marina. Go in and say hello and grab a water before your paddle. Be sure to thank them for letting you use the boat ramp. It is on the right-hand side of 14th Street on the north end of Amelia Island just before the bridge over Egans Creek. Time this paddle board tour with the tide and be sure to check the wind forecast just prior to departing.
We suggest you take a paddle board lesson before doing this trip. A guided paddle board tour will ensure you get the most out of your time on the water. Bring your PFD (preferably an inflatable belt PFD) and marine whistle. With the potential for submerged hazards and shallow areas, use a coiled SUP leash versus a straight SUP leash. Be Safe!