All About 30A’s Coastal Dune Lakes
In the whole vast, varied world there are very few coastal dune lakes to be found. Most are found near far off shores of New Zealand, Australia, or Madagascar. It’s no small thing to say that the 30A area contains no less than 15 coastal dune lakes in 26 miles of coast. These coastal dune lakes intertwine with the shores of 30A, so you can easily leave from the beaches to the lakes or paddle board from the lakes to the beach. In fact, the coastal dune lakes offer perhaps the most popular site for kayaking and paddle boarding in 30A.
What Are Coastal Dune Lakes?
Coastal dune lakes are permanent, primarily freshwater lakes surrounded by dune ecosystems within a couple miles of the ocean. In fact, in many cases in the Gulf, coastal dune lakes are separated from the ocean only by a small sand berm. In the event of rain storms, that sand berm is flooded and the two bodies of water overlap and salt water spills into the lakes. This creates a unique sort of ecosystem, temporarily supporting both saltwater and freshwater fish. However, the water quality of the coastal dune lakes is closely watched by the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance to preserve this well-loved phenomenon.
What You’ll See At the Coastal Dune Lakes
Imagine shallow waters full of lily pads, surrounded by and tall lanky trees. There’s an ecosystem here that can’t quite be replicated elsewhere, and you’ll find rare specimens of birds and fish, deer, or even alligators. The alligators are typically shy and stay away from visitors, but you’ll want to exercise caution and not go swimming in the lakes anyway. Surrounded by these peaceful rich, natural marshes, you’ll feel transported away from the crowds to a place where you can hear yourself think — but also where you can get out of your head and appreciate the world around you.
How to Best Enjoy the Coastal Dune Lakes
Almost all coastal dune lakes have public access points, but because most are privately owned, some might require an appointment or tour in order to experience them. You should always check the particular lake you want to visit before going. How you explore the coastal dune lakes is up to you. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP boarding) are two of the most popular methods. You can paddle leisurely from the opening of the lake to the ocean, taking pictures of the rare flora and fauna finds, or cast a fishing line from your kayak. You can make a family trip out of it or simply take the opportunity to experience some peace and quiet on your own.
The way you experience the coastal dune lakes is up to you. However, if you’re planning to make a trip soon, we recommend renting your kayak or paddle board rather than buying outright. Renting allows you to have the resources you need for a day or for the week, without taking up permanent storage in your home. The Rental Shop 30A even offers free delivery to beach towns in the 30A area. So what are you waiting for? Call us at (850) 260-0001 and prepare to see the coastal dune lakes for yourself.