Canaveral National Seashore protects 58,000 acres of maritime hammocks, dunes, and coastline surrounding Cape Canaveral, a natural sandy cape that formed where ocean currents meet. Its unique location is the northernmost point for many tropical plants to thrive, and a major stopover point for migratory birds in fall and spring. The park includes lands managed by NASA as a buffer zone for the Kennedy Space Center, and popular Playalinda Beach.
Location: New Smyrna Beach
Lat-Lon: 28.927280, -80.823819
Fees: Access to Seminole Rest is free. Access to Playlinda Beach or through the the main gate south of New Smyrna Beach costs $5 per vehicle. If you have a National Parks/Interagency Pass, it covers all fees.
Open: Sunrise to sunset
While the southern unit of the National Seashore is the destination for beachgoers out of Titusville, the quieter northern unit marks the end of the road south of Bethune Beach. It is here that you can explore the habitats and enjoy the views on a variety of trails, including Turtle Mound, Castle Windy, and Eldora Hammock. A former fishing village, Eldora has a fascinating history and access to Mosquito Lagoon. Lesser-known Seminole Rest, in Oak Hill off US 1, preserves one of the original settler’s homesteads in the region, built atop an ancient midden.
Explore the park
- Castle Windy - At Canaveral National Seashore, Castle Windy is the only trail that takes you from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mosquito Lagoon, a shady walk through a coastal hammock to a windswept shoreline
- Eldora Hammock Trail - At Canaveral National Seashore, the Eldora Hammock Trail provides an interpretive loop through the beauty of a lush coastal hammock, highlighting the tropical understory below.
- Reflections on the National Park Centennial - Reflections on our National Parks during the Centennial celebration this week, with a wander through Canaveral National Seashore in both New Smyrna Beach and Titusville
- Seminole Rest Trail - The accessible Seminole Rest Trail provides interpretive information about a historic and archaeological site at Canaveral National Seashore along the shores of the Indian River Lagoon.
- Turtle Mound Trail - At Canaveral National Seashore, the Turtle Mound Trail leads you to a promontory from which you can see both the Atlantic Ocean and Mosquito Lagoon.