Get on the Water: Local Paddling Guide for Amelia National Residents

Looking for a different method of exploring the beauty that surrounds Amelia National Golf & Country Club? Head for the water.

for Amelia National ResidentsNo, not those gorgeous ponds and lakes on Amelia National’s Tom Fazio golf course (neighbors and golf staff might have something to say!).

We mean all the watery access you can imagine in a coastal location, because it’s at your back door. This master-planned community — one of ICI Homes’ premier communities — is less than 10 minutes from Amelia Island’s beaches, the historic town of Fernandina Beach, and water, water everywhere.

With the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and endless creeks, rivers and estuaries crisscrossing the area, it’s a wonderful opportunity to sample new recreational opportunities, or invigorate existing ones.

And, you don’t need a motorized boat to do it. We’re talking non-motorized personal watercraft — kayaks, canoes and paddleboards — where you supply the human horsepower. Paddling also is a great way to explore and experience the natural terrain from a different perspective — atop the water rather from dry land.

How do you do it if you haven’t done it? See below for tips to get you started.

If you’ve never paddled…

Visit local outfitters or seek advice from Amelia National friends and neighbors who paddle.

Like anything new, it’s important to heed experts’ wisdom. Take lessons, rent equipment, then paddle your way through several guided beginners’ tours.

You may discover you love gliding through glassy creeks and sounds, being wowed by plentiful birding and wildlife, and watching tides rise and fall around you. Sunrises and sunsets are amazing from the water! And these adventures are minutes from Amelia National every day. No long drives to seek padding options and instruction.

Where to find paddling trails

Again, first seek outfitters’ and experienced paddlers’ guidance and recommendations. It’s always smart to paddle with other people until you acquire your own experience.

Egans Creek is a popular, scenic paddling site off the north end of Amelia Island, near the Florida-Georgia border. Excursions typically launch from Dee Dee Bartels North End Boat Ramp, proceed along the Amelia River and eventually to Egans Creek, where you can see the Amelia Island Lighthouse, saltwater marshes and other sites.

Lofton Creek is an inland paddling experience. It’s located in Yulee, off State Road 200 — and only minutes west of Amelia National! Access the boat ramp in Melton O. Nelson Memorial Park, just south of SR 200. Lofton Creek is a quiet, calm body of water that takes paddlers through pristine coastal forest and past abundant wildlife.

Amelia Island State Park, at the southern end of Amelia Island, also offers many paddling options. A $2 per-person admission is required. Visit the on-site outfitter, Kayak Amelia, for more info.

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