Shark Point Chickee

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The Shark Point Chickee is one of only two current camping platforms on Florida Bay. Opened to the public in the winter/spring of 2010 by Everglades National Park along with the similar Johnson Key Chickee backcountry primitive campsite. These two platforms are a new concept that had never been done before, being situated in the large body of open water that is Florida Bay. The structures point to the future of remote wilderness camping in the Everglades region!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Aerial bird’s-eye-view of Shark Point Chickee and sea grass beds scarred by boat propellers and hunting dolphins (the spiral ones).

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For paddlers the obvious launch point is at Flamingo, and the chickee is only about eight miles away as the Osprey flies. It makes for a great camping opportunity right on the water, it’s like having a private outback condominium! 🙂

As with any other Everglades National Park remote campsite, you will need to get your backcountry camping permit before heading out!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Big moon rising over unamed key on Shark Point Chickee.

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This chickee is just under 300 meters from the tip of Shark Point and is perfectly oriented for maximum breeze flow-through. It is even higher than the Johnson Key chickee, but with the new accessibility improvements is very easy to get on and off for paddlers. The new lower center platform is the key here and even allows you to pull your boat on top of it, once emptied, of course.

It is also a favorite resting place for sea birds like Cormorants, Pelicans, Gulls & Terns. As such it will most likely be covered in white bird guano, and the Park Service has been kind enough to provide a scraper and broom to “clean” this off!  Beware that the spacing in the floor boards is just big enough (1.5″) to easily loose smaller items like keys, wallets, etc .. and they will readily fall through!! So best bet is to bring a couple or three tarps to keep your stuff in check, use as a wind block and stay clean and scent-free!!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak satellite

Close proximity to Shark Point

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Since it is so close to the tip of Shark Point (a Mosquito Sanctuary), you can expect some bugs if the winds drop or are coming from the NE! You should definitely set up your tent so you can wake up in comfort. It’s also real nice to string up a hammock during the day and chill in the nice sea breezes!! At night, the winds can be brisk, so bring a windbreaker and some clothing or put up your tent’s rain fly.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak satellite

Most direct route is from Flamingo across Snake Bight & Garfield Bight.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak satellite

Shark Point chickee and vicinity.

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Snake Bight kayakfari Florida Bay kayak Everglades Flex Maslan canoe panoramic 360 sky Garfield low tide shark chickee point sea turtle grass bank

Paddling across Snake Bight in a kayak en route to Shark Point chickee platform.
CLICK and resize for full screen superwide VR Panorama!

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Getting there is very easy, you really won’t need any GPS or other fancy electronics. Navigate by sight and dead reckoning & remember you can always see the Flamingo tower from the seat of your boat up to about 12 miles away. Of course you should have a chart or decent map and a compass in the rare case there is a fog white-out! On very low tide, you may not be able to go the direct route, even in a kayak, so instead follow the regular boat channels.

Alternately, you can launch off the main Park road into West Lake and take the interior Alligator Creek canoe trail where you exit into Garfield Bight. Then just head due south, it’s only 2.5 miles – you can’t miss it!

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First, the structure as originally built:

Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Shark Point Chickee as originally built was difficult to access from paddlecraft.

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Contrast with the new accessibility improvements!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

The NEW & IMPROVED Shark Point Chickee!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Many accessibility options.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Easy to get on and off now!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Nearby Shark Point is a National Mosquito Sanctuary. 😉

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Broom & Scraper for bird guano may or may no longer be there. Bring several tarps to be sure!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Center platform kayak / canoe access.

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The views from up top are amazing! There are at least a couple of different seagrass varieties with intertwined (old) prop scars on the sea beds below. You can also see the Flamingo cell tower due west and the (comparatively) busy Florida Bay boat traffic in this section of the ‘Bay. The location is right next to a much older actual ground campsite that used to be at Shark Point itself. The chickee is also situated near the main ‘Tin Can’ boating channel. In this respect, the Johnson Key Chickee is in a much more tranquil setting!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Panoramic of Shark Point Chickee.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Classic Florida Bay sunset!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Sunset Superman on Shark Point Chickee. 😉

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Chair makes great wind block for cooking dinner!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Don’t be afraid to bring out ye hot peppers & garlic!!

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I believe I have discovered the perfect camping beer which tastes great even warm (let’s face reality!), comes in cans and is inexpensive == Shock-Top! 🙂

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Finished meal is Calamares en su tinta with potato, carrots, pea pods, garlic & hot peppers == TASTY!

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NIGHT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY and DIGITAL ART from the EVERGLADES, FLORIDA BAY, TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, BIG CYPRESS & BEYOND!

(click pic to enter)

Flex Maslan kayakfari photographer kayak camping stars night Everglades landscape pano print art Florida Bay slough shark camping with the stars

ART of Darkness – Camping with the Stars! Part II

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One more time because this moonrise was just so nice .. I still don’t know what to do about it!

Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Delicious moonrise over Florida Bay.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Sunrise from the tranquility of my tent.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

I am only showing you one, but there were many,  MANY skeeters!

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

The chickee is like a private outback condominium! 🙂

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

The Chickee platform and it’s name sake – Shark Point.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Entry point of original (land) Shark Point ground backcountry camp site.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Sea grasses on Garfield Bight.

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Shark Point Chickee Everglades camping platform florida bay kayakfari kayak Flex Maslan

Looking back across Garfield Bight at Shark Point, Rankin & Umbrella keys + platform.

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BIG thank you to Everglades National Park for making the chickee accessibility improvements!

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Enjoy!

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To learn more about Florida Bay I can recommend this informative and beautifully done book. There is a wealth of information inside along with incredible images by internationally recognized and top local Everglades photographers. If you like Florida Bay and the Keys, you will LOVE this book!

Full Disclosure: A few of my images are in it too.

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Everglades Foundation Florida Bay Forever book photography Flex Maslan kayakfari kayak canoe water keys Maslin kayakfari.com dan burkhardt acclaim press published jimmy buffett fishing

“Florida Bay Forever” – Everglades Foundation book edited by Dan Burkhardt (with some photography by Flex Maslan).
Cover photo by Rob O’Neal

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© 2012-2016 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com. All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

All rights reserved!

DISCLAIMER:: The maps and images on this site are not intended for navigation, I am not a guide; use any and all information at your own risk! Your mileage may vary .. so use good judgement before venturing out!

With that said..
Blessings friends!

🙂

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com rasta 420 happy kayakfari kayak canoe paddle photography adventure fitness awakenthegrass everglades florida

BLESS!

9 comments on “Shark Point Chickee

  1. This is GREAT information. We are planning on heading out there in a few weeks (late Feb. – early March) and I’m so glad I came across your site.

    Questions: I was thinking about using a camping hammock instead of a tent. I noticed you mentioned that you had set up a hammock during your stay. Would you recommend using a hammock for sleeping or would you say a tent is the way to go? There will be four of us out there.

    How was the fishing?
    What time of the year were you out there? What year did you go?

    Thanks for the pictures, information and answers.

    Like

    • Thanks Tim! You’ll have a great time out on the chickee. Time your paddle on or near high tide to avoid getting stuck on Snake Bight or stick to the boating channels. Also pay attention to the marine forecast for strong winds and ‘Beware the tides of March” ..lol.
      You can go any time of year, but as I pointed out skeeters will find you when the wind drops especially in the hot months so definitely have no-see-um netting! This chickee is just offshore along the buggiest part of the Everglades – and it’s been a bad year for bugs!! If you string up a hammock, you’ll find yourself parallel to each side of the structure, so don’t fall overboard! I brought a hammock for chillaxing and had it on the diagonal, but that won’t do for four people.
      One last thing: bring several tarps to cover up the floor and for a wind break. Have fun!
      -Flex

      Like

  2. Pingback: Just a Sunday Nooner kayaking Florida Bay .. | kayakfari ( kayak .. far .. i )

  3. Hello,
    I love your article 🙂
    But I didn’t find how to book a night there please.

    Can you send me the link?

    Thank you

    All the Best

    Alexx

    Like

  4. Hi! Thanks for the informative article. Very helpful. I’m considering the Flamingo to chickee paddle trip for late September. When were you there? I’m trying to get some sense of the severity of the skeeters at that time.

    Is it possible to time your paddles to let the tide assist? I’ve read about it for the paddles I’ll be doing coming down the east coast but haven’t seen anything about it for Florida Bay.

    Thanks for any info you can provide 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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