Shark Point Chickee in Florida Bay.

Paddling to an outback

high rise camping condo!

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 Flex Maslan Shark Point Chickee kayakfari Everglades camping platform florida bay kayak paddle mosquito keys Satellite

The most direct route to the Shark Point Chickee from Flamingo is 8 miles across Snake Bight.

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The Shark Point Chickee opened to the public in the winter/spring of 2010 on Florida Bay, inside Everglades National Park. It, along with the similar Johnson Key Chickee backcountry primitive campsite  are still the only two camping platforms on Florida Bay as of 2019. 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 possibly point to the future of remote wilderness camping on Florida Bay, with perhaps a couple of additional platforms to come!

For paddlers the obvious launch point is at Flamingo, as the chickee is only about eight miles away due east 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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 Flex Maslan Shark Point Chickee kayakfari Everglades camping platform florida bay kayak paddle mosquito keys

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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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 lower center access 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 and as such it will most likely be covered in white bird guano. 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 in the late afternoon sun.
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop!

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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 across Snake Bight even in a kayak, so instead follow the regular boat channels. A strong easterly wind can completely blow out the water on Snake Bight, so it’s a good idea to make the crossing on a rising tide!

An alternately route starts off the main Park road at West Lake and follows a meandering path through the interior called the Alligator Creek canoe trail where you exit into Garfield Bight. Then just head due south along the shoreline. sheltered from easterly winds. The chickee is only 2.5 miles due south, you can’t miss it – but again it’s best to paddle with a rising tide on Florida Bay!

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 Flex Maslan Shark Point Chickee kayakfari Everglades camping platform florida bay kayak paddle mosquito keys Satellite

Shark Point chickee on Florida Bay is 8 miles due east from Flamingo or 2.5 miles due south from Alligator Creek.

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Since it is so close to the tip of Shark Point (a National 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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 Flex Maslan Shark Point Chickee kayakfari Everglades camping platform florida bay kayak paddle mosquito keys

I am only showing you one, but there could be many skeeters coming from the mainland when the winds drop!

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 Flex Maslan Shark Point Chickee kayakfari Everglades camping platform florida bay kayak paddle mosquito keys Satellite

The Shark Point chickee is in close proximity to its namesake – Shark Point on the mainland.

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First, the structure as originally built:

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

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

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Contrast with the accessibility improvements!

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

The new & improved Shark Point Chickee with lower central access platform!

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

Many ladders permit several accessibility options, but the center platform is key for paddles.

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

Easy to get on and off the center platform on Shark Point Chickee.

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Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!

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

Nearby Shark Point is registered as a National Mosquito Sanctuary! 😉

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flex maslan kayakfari florida bay kayak summer paddle everglades chickee Camp flats tide turtle grass Keys heat adventure thunder storm

Shark Point Chickee is the tallest chickee in the Park and feels like an outback condominium!
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop!

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

Center platform kayak / canoe access.

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The panoramic 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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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 for full screen superwide VR Panorama!

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

Panoramic view from Shark Point Chickee!
Florida Bay & Keys Aerial VR Panoramas.

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Florida Bay & Keys Aerial VR Panoramas

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

Chair makes great wind block for cooking dinner!

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

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

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Tasty & Quick Cooking!

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

Example finished dinner of Calamares en su tinta with potato, carrots, pea pods, garlic & hot peppers.
Tasty & Quick Cooking!

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

Classic Florida Bay sunset!

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

Sunset Superman on Shark Point Chickee. 😉

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

Big moon rising over unnamed key from Shark Point Chickee on Florida Bay.

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flex maslan kayakfari florida bay kayak summer paddle everglades chickee Camp flats tide turtle grass Keys heat adventure thunder storm

The rising moon over Florida Bay lights up the nearby keys due east/southeast!
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop!

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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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flex maslan kayakfari florida bay kayak summer paddle everglades chickee Camp flats tide turtle grass Keys heat adventure thunder storm

Camp Kayakfari on the Shark Point Chickee in full living color.
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop!

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When there is no moon out, it gets very dark indeed. You can see the lights from all the Florida Keys towns on the horizon to the south as they stretch out in an arc. A calm night on the Shark Point Chickee is probably the ultimate in camping tranquility. There is an absolute stillness and a total lack of any kind of background noise which is pretty special in today’s world and something not soon forgotten!

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flex maslan kayakfari florida bay kayak summer paddle everglades chickee Camp flats tide turtle grass Keys heat adventure thunder storm

When there is no moon out, the glow of the lights from the string of Florida Keys towns can be seen on the horizon from the chickee. The red light on right is the tower at Flamingo, due west.
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop!

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I always tell people you don’t know chill,

until you Florida Bay chill on a chickee!

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

Sunrise from the tranquility of my tent.

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

The Shark Point Chickee is like a private outback condominium! 🙂

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

The Shark Point Chickee platform with Umbrella Key behind it.

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

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

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

Sea grasses in the shallows of Garfield Bight.

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

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

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From the Shark Point Chickee there are three other nearby backcountry campsites. The closest is the Alligator Creek campsite bordering Garfield Bight on the mainland only 2.5 miles due north. However this one is infamous as possibly the buggiest campsite in the Everglades. It’s also kind of a muddy camp in the marl prairie and is a hang out for crocodiles. A better choice is the Johnson Key Chickee which is located in open water and consequently has few bugs. Another good site is a small island called Little Rabbit Key in the middle of Florida Bay. There are a few route options depending whether you want to make a two or three night adventure! As always on Florida Bay, paying attention to the tides is key to avoid being stranded on one of the flats banks!

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flex maslan kayakfari florida bay kayak summer paddle everglades chickee Camp flats tide turtle grass Keys heat adventure thunder storm

Shark Point Chickee can be the start of a multi-day Florida Bay camping adventure!
Everglades hot summer camping and cruising – the Central & Western Florida Bay loop.

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More on Florida Bay paddling here:

Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!

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kayakfari photography art Florida Bay aerial kayak Everglades Flex Maslan landscape panoramic print sea Champagne Dawn

Dawns like this one can be found on Florida Bay – “Champagne Dawn”
Chickees and Keys in Florida Bay – Kayaking, Camping and Nice Dreams!

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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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© 2012-2019 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!

I hereby disclaim any sponsorship, endorsement, nor association with any product or service described herein. The photographs, depictions, products, and ideas presented on this site are for informational purposes only. Your results may vary, and I do not imply nor guarantee the effectiveness, suitability, design or operation to adhere to any standard. I assume no legal responsibility for the implementation of anything herein presented! Use any and all information at your own risk! By using any and all information from this website, you accept the final liability for any use or possible associated misuse!

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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!

20 comments on “Shark Point Chickee in Florida Bay.

  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

    • I went there in June a couple of years ago, actually a week before hurricane Irma hit. I would make a suggestion as I used an enclosed camping hammock. Reserve a small tarp for the bottom of the hammock especially at the Shark Point Chickee. When the mosquitos came after sunset they had no problem biting through the bottom of the hammock and the tarp I used for the deck became necessary for the bottom of the hammock and allowed me a good nights sleep. I used the same tarp for my night at the Johnson chickee but didn’t need it as the mosquitoes were much less prolific than at Shark Point. I also camped a single night at the little island, I forget the name but used my tent there. I remember it was a long paddle from Shark Point to there. And I did pay attention to the tides and had checked them for each of the three nights I was there so I could plan my paddle each day. Going at high tide definitely shortens the distance and always fun to paddle in shallow water. I only fished two of the three days as the first day was Shark Point and there were always several small sharks hag=nging around the chickee so I didn’t bother. I had free fish dinner at both of the other two spots using only a couple of small shrimp I brought along and kept in a cooler. It was easy picking. I would have loved to fish more but because the regulations at the time only allowed a single night at each spot that didn’t leave a lot of time for a kayaker to paddle and fish and get to each chickee – maybe I’m just slow. I hope to go again now that I know better the conditions and whereabouts. I was also glad I brought my binoculars which made finding the chickees a little easier.

      Like

      • Hmmm, I did not know that Little Rabbit Key was available for more than a single night. That would have been great especially considering the paddle from Shark Point was somewhat long. I did snorkel around the deep channel but the tide was moving a little too fast making the water too silty. But knowing that it’s available for more than a single night makes going back much higher on my list of places to return. My wife and I did 4 days on the Suwanee last year for her 67th birthday and we met with a lot of rain and would like to return there but Florida Bay was beautiful and I saw many places for fishing that I simply passed up because of my determination to get to Little Rabbit Key. Thanks for that info!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, actually I did but I was so focused on the chickees and single day use that I made an assumption without reading all the way through guess that the island was the same. Won’t make that mistake the next time. I also went based on tides knowing that during my paddle the tide would be rising so as to avoid any grounding. The only issue came on the paddle from Shark Point to Little Rabbit Key as the wind was against me and I didn’t keep enough water on the deck. With the wind making dehydration a serious event I actually rationed the water I had on deck until I found a suitable place to get out and get some water I had stored. Regardless, this is a spectacular trip that anyone who knows how to pack for a few days should do and the trip planner is definitely helpful if you read it all the way through as was this blog. The morning park ranger was helpful as well as I arrived as soon as they opened.

        Liked by 1 person

  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

  5. Curious question after reading this and some of your other excursions in Florida Bay. I am planning a 3 night 4 day solo trip there and my idea is Shark Bight Chickee, Little Rabbit Key ground camp and Johnson Key Chickee in no particular order other than Little Rabbit Key the 2nd day. Thoughts mainly about the distance of Rabbit Key from Shark Bight Chickee. Seems like going to all 3 would give me a good intro and experience to Florida Bay. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Alexander, this is a great loop and an excellent way to see Florida Bay. I’ve done this one myself a few times! Aside from the weather (afternoon storms), your main concern will be low tide on the banks. Depending on how you do your trip, you might have to go over Dildo Key bank, Rabbit Key bank(s) and Snake Bight. The last one you want to be sure you have enough water to float even in a kayak. Sometimes on low tide combined with higher winds, Snake Bight becomes impassable. The other banks you can go around if needed.

      Like

  6. hi Flex. great info!
    i’m planning to check out johnson chickee and/or shark point chickee.
    do you recommend doing both? or does johnson chickee offer everything shark point chickee has + better views?
    thanks!

    Like

    • Hello! If you have the time, check ’em both out. This time of year the Johnson Key Chickee will have fewer bugs due to being far away from the mainland. The Shark Point Chickee is nice in that it face due south so you get unimpeded views, esp. at night! Either chickee be sure to time your approach near high tide else you’ll get stuck on the flats. Also brings several tarps to cover the flooring and provide wind/rain block!

      Like

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