Kennedy Space Center is known locally as the gateway to stars however KARS Park at the southern end South Kennedy Space Center is known the gateway to the Banana River No Motor Zone.
10,000 acres of pristine waters!
The No Motor Zone is a nearly un fished Manatee protection area.
And as the name implies, internal combustion or electric trolling motor operated watercraft are prohibited in the "Zone"
Sunrise -Gate Way to the No Motor Zone
The north Banana River between Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is reserved for sail or human powered water craft only.
Paddle or sail powered vessels only in these pristine waters
Just one SMALL problem about the "Zone"
That would be access.
Generally speaking access to the No Motor Zone is to launch from the Beach Line (528) and paddle north for one hour just to reach the southern edge of the Zone.
Three more hours of paddling to reach the northern end of the No Motor Zone: NASA Causeway
Rocket launch viewing dock extends into the Banana River. On the far shore is Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NO! the name is now SPACE FORCE STATION. (I just keep falling back to the old name)
Still the most active Space Port on the planet.
KARS is an acronym for "Kennedy Athletic, Recreation & Social"
KARS Park is a Private Park (Membership required)
Membership is required, however for a simple $5. one can launch a kayak or canoe into the world famous "No Motor Zone" The vaunted Redfish capital of the world.
Gateway to the Zone
The "No Motor Zone" of Kennedy Space Center.
The “No Motor Zone” or “NMZ” is the southern boundary water of Kennedy Space Center that has been closed to motorized vessels since 1990 and my favorite place to paddle on the Florida East coast.
In this nearly empty 10,600 acres of open water,-roughly 35 square miles of solitude and silence- Humans are missing component. A crowded weekend day in the Zone is twelve kayaks, a canoe and a sail boat. (Even that is too many)
Most week days—we are the sole users!
Beware--even though I have never been asked for it, -in theory you must carry the free Merritt Island wildlife area permit. -It is free.
The re built kayak/canoe launch at the north end of KARS Park.
The shoreline has been fortified for the next hurricane.
We recently camped overnight at KARS and was on the water.... long before the sunrise we were at our favorite skinny water tossing top water plugs.
Camping at KARS Park (My other KARS Page)
How to launch a canoe or Kayak in the No Motor Zone?
Access to the NMZ is from the 528 Beachline, KARS Park or if you happen to possess an ID badge you can launch from NASA causeway to the north. (If the area is not closed due to an upcoming rocket launch.)
If you do not possess a KSC or CCAFS badge, the quickest way into the Federal Banana River Manatee Sanctuary known as the NMZ, is via KARS Park.
Directions to KARS Park, exit the Beachline (State Road 528) at State Road 3 and turn north to Hall Road. Take Hall Road east until it dead ends into KARS Park.
As mentioned KARS park is a private 'Membership only' park. However "Non-members" can pay a $5.00 per boat launch fee to use the primitive kayak/canoe launch area. -Best five dollars ever spent! For five dollars you get reduced paddle time, KARS park security from vehicle vandalism and an available bathroom.
Just read that KARS is now open to active duty military to join as members. (Was retired only forever)
And of course a few simple rules to follow:
Do not paddle north of the NASA causeway bridge or the SWAT team will find you rather quickly. There are motion detectors under the bridge and the police will be on you before one cast......
The No Motor Zone is marked by Kennedy Space Center on the west side, NASA Causeway on the North and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the east side.
Do NOT place a single foot on dry land or the Swat team will find you!
And the east side has some fuel storage areas that are roped off. "Stay away"
Redfish Capital of the World
The KSC NMZ is tied with Mosquito Lagoon for the title "REDFISH CAPITAL OF THE WORLD"
Both are awesome bodies of water in amazing schools of Red Drum (Redfish). However Mosquito Lagoon supports hundreds of professional redfish guides. So in the propaganda war for the title of Red Fish Capital, there are many who support their family as guides for the Lagoon. It stands to reason that one of water might have more 'advertisement' about the capital.
While on the subject of the professional fishing guides. of Mosquito Lagoon.....Even though I am on the Indian River Lagoon most weekends......Never has been money better spent than the times we have paid for the guide service!
digging up photos
Return HOME from KARS Park Page
My fictional series/stories on Florida history:
Freedoms Quest (book one)
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida.
Available on Amazon