KARS Park
Gateway to the No Motor Zone.

No motor zone??

The No motor zone of Kennedy Space Center, east central Florida.

Internal combustion or electric trolling motors are prohibited.

10,600 acres of open water,-roughly  35 square miles of solitude and silence-a busy day might be a dozen kayaks or canoes, a sail boat and an athletic paddle boarder or two.

Photo is from a shirt in the KARS store.

Artist unknown.

The official name of the NMZ is: Banana River Manatee Sanctuary and the vast areas serves as a security buffer zone for the rocket launch areas of Kennedy Space Center & Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


KARS Park is located next to the busiest space launch complexs on the Planet.

(I took the photo of a SpaceX dawn launch & landing while camping)


Sunrise at KARS Park on the North Banana River. We had the RV on the river for this visit

My KARS Park page that concentrates more on fishing


There are over 100 RV camping spots plus a huge are for primitive camping. (18 new sites on the river & they cost an extra $5 a day.)

Full moon on the River!

Directions to KARS Park, exit the Beachline (Highway 528) at State Road 3 and turn north toward KSC & turn east at Hall Road.  Take Hall Road east until it dead ends into KARS Park.

Sunrise.

Should have been 6 miles up river at this time.

Port Canaveral to the east.


Looking south towards the launch viewing boardwalk. The new rock is repair from the last hurricane. 

(having coffee, cool morning)

Night on the river.

Looking south towards Port Canaveral. The lights are from the cruise ship terminal.


KARS park is a private Membership park for employees at the Space Center and Air Force Base.

Just read that KARS is now open to active duty military to join as members. (Was retired only forever)

However "Non-members" can pay a day use $5.00 per boat launch fee to use the primitive kayak/canoe launch area. (Have to check the 'after COVID' price)   -But that is the best five dollars ever spent!

For five dollars you get reduced paddle time, KARS park security from vehicle vandalism and an available bathroom.

My No Motor Zone page has a photo of the new kayak canoe launch.


The store.....

Pay kayak or camping fees at the KARS store.


A copy of the KARS camping map to give a perspective of the overall size of the park. The numbers are electric sites for camping.

Real maps are to be had in the store.

Not shown is the RV storage area in the old gun range.


Rocket launches will close the No Motor Zone. Always have a back up paddle plan.

Photo: (Mine: To the moon Alice!)


Night on the river's edge, full moon in the clouds



This trip to KARS Park we brought the dogs...

Irish Wolfhound on the River

Reason for the keeping the dogs fenced when at KARS?

Photo: mine. Was I too close?

There are alligators everywhere in Florida and 99% of the time, err, 98.6% of the time they are completely harmless.

We just practice alligator pet safety everywhere.

So at KARS Park there are baby alligators in the fresh water ditches & on rare occasions larger alligators in the Banana River, -although they prefer fresh water, they will visit the brackish lagoon when necessary.



Odds and ends:

How to launch a canoe or Kayak in the No Motor Zone?

Access to the NMZ is from the 528 Beachline, or KARS Park. Also from the CCAFS Hanger AF launch site.

Or if you happen to possess an ID badge you can launch from NASA causeway to the north. (That is, 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 Banana River Manatee Sanctuary is via KARS Park.

Looking from the kayak/canoe parking area back towards the camping area


Final words:

The "No Motor Zone" of Kennedy Space Center.  Voracious redfish. Rolling tarpon, killer jacks, schooling seatrout. Silver Snook on the mangrove edges and monster tailing black drum.

Recently even a sawfish was seen from the Hanger AF pier. The sawfishes have been gone from this part of the east coast for decades.

NMZ:

Best kept non secret in Florida.




Return Home from KARS Park Page



My fictional series/stories on Florida history:

Freedoms Quest
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida.