West Lake Park: Kayaking and Canoeing in Hollywood Florida

Kayaking in South Florida's Broward County

West Lake Park Hollywood Florida Kayaking
Kayaking into the White Trail from the West Lake Park South Marina. © by George E. Sayour

Kayaking in Hollywood Florida couldn’t be easier. Of course Hollywood Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway are obvious choices for paddling. But there is a hidden goldmine of kayaking known as West Lake Park that has easy boat launch access at multiple sites, paddling trails, access to West Lake, and a trail to the Intracoastal Waterway.

About West Lake Park

With almost 50,000 feet of waterfront, West Lake Park is obviously a great choice for kayaking or canoeing.

In linear distance, the park spans about 3 miles of mangrove filled waters and lands which makes this the largest mangrove estuary from Miami Beach all the way up to West Palm Beach. It even offers more mangrove kayaking trails than Oleta River Park.

West Lake Park is in the Broward County Parks system and as such has a variety of amenities and activities for the whole family. There’s a playground with splash pad for the kids and picnic areas and pavilions for parties and get-togethers. For nature and outdoor lovers there’s the Anne Kolb Nature Center, an observation tower, an environmental boat tour, nature tours, Great Florida Birding Wildlife Trails, and kayak and canoe rentals.

Getting to West Lake Park in Hollywood, FL

West Lake Park is located just west of the beach and Intracoastal on Sheridan Street. From I-95, exit Sheridan Street and head east toward the beach. There are two entrances to the park from Sheridan Street before you go over the Intracoastal bridge.
You’ll come to the south entrance first which is marked with a kayak and a canoe constructed sign for the park. There you’ll find picnic areas, pavilions, kids play area, the Marina where kayaks and canoes can be rented and access to the White and Green paddling trails. The North Entrance has access to the Anne Kolb Nature Center, paths and walkways, and the Red Trail for paddling.

Kayaking Options at West Lake Park

There are three types of kayaking in West Lake Park in Hollywood, FL.
There are narrow trails through the mangroves, West Lake itself, and the Intracoastal Waterway if you can get into it. Rental boats are not allowed into the Intracoastal.

Exploring West Lake by Kayak

  • North West Lake
    North West Lake is where the Anne Kolb Nature Center is which is in view while kayaking. There are board walks, foot paths, and an observation tower on land. There is an island in the middle of North West Lake known as Horseshoe Island.
  • The Red Trail
    The Red Trail is about 1.2 miles in length and will take about an hour to explore by kayak. While it is located in the north portion of West Lake, paddlers who put-in in at the south marina can access the Red Trail by paddling under Sheridan Street and into this section of West Lake.
  • South West Lake
    South West Lake contains two paddling trails known as the White Trail and the Green Trail, as well as the South Canoe Marina, and access to the Intracoastal Waterway. You can get from South West Lake to North West Lake by paddling under Sheridan Street.
  • The White Trail
    The White Trail has a couple of forks that come off of it and is the main access to West Lake. It is about nine tenths of a mile long and will take about 45 minutes to paddle. This is the trail you immediately end up in as you paddle out from the boat launch in the south portion of West Lake Park.
  • The Green Trail
    To access the Green Trail, you’ll need to paddle across West Lake from the White Trail. The Green Trail is also just under a mile long and a 45 minute paddle.
  • The Intracoastal
    While you will not be able to take rental kayaks into the Intracoastal, you can get through to the Intracoastal Waterway with your own boat. This can be achieved either through the southeastern most point of West Lake through an area known as Holland Park.

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