aerial view of haulover canal

Manatees Playing at Haulover Boat Ramp

manatees haulover canal
Manatees at Haulover Canal

Nick and I took a ride over to the Mims and Titusville area the other day and one place we stopped was the Haulover Canal boat ramp. It’s a much smaller place than I thought, with only one ramp, but a nice trailer parking area. We walked out on the metal dock and that is where we watched the manatees play.

It was hot so we didn’t stay long, but the small bay area, where the boats launch and dock, was full of manatees. The water is brown and murky (brackish) but the manatees could be seen breaking the surface, splashing and rolling around. I got a short 30 second video – it was too bright for me to easily see what I was filming.  It was also really hot – did I say that?

The boats go very slow in this little bay, so the manatees just move out of the way when they hear the motors. We drove over the bridge and went to the eastern side of the canal where there is a “Manatee Watching Deck” and didn’t see any manatees there. The boat dock was the best place to see them. (The observation area had port-o-potties, fyi.)

The Haulover Canal is a channel for boats to go between the Indian River, on the west, and Mosquito Lagoon, to the east. Both are wide open bodies of water. The canal is part of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. On the opposite side from the boat launching area is a long dirt road. We traveled down to the end and saw cars stopped and little camps set up where people were fishing along the canal. At the end was an area to put in canoes and kayaks. This is the view from the end of that road which looks out into the Indian River lagoon, which is a huge area.

Haulover canal, Indian river lagoon
Indian River Lagoon

This is an aerial view of the area we visited. Click the picture below which takes you to the public boat ramp page.

aerial view of haulover canal
Aerial view of this area – click to view the page at Florida Fish and Wildlife public boat ramp finder

I can’t wait to have a boat so we can check out this area from the water!

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