Gulf Intracoastal Waterway - Florida’s Panhandle
Carrabelle, FL to Perdido Key, FL
From its starting point at 29° 47.533’ N / 84° 40.384’ W (MM "376.0 EHL") near Carrabelle, FL, this section of Florida’s Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs generally in a westerly direction, ending at 30°18.549’N / 87°27.342’W (MM "170.0 EHL") near Ono Island, AL and Perdido Key, FL, a distance of approximately 206 statute miles.
Be aware of the time zone change on the GICW in the vicinity of Green Daybeacon #1 (MM "316.9 EHL") on Wetappo Creek 1.5 miles NNW of the Overstreet Bridge.
The GICW is marked with your standard Aids to Navigation. In addition, they display yellow triangles or yellow squares. When westbound along this section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, marks displaying yellow triangles should be kept on your starbord hand and those marked with yellow squares should be kept to port. While typically the yellow triangles will be found on red markers and yellow squares are found on green markers, caution should be exercised around Panama City and Pensacola where the GICW intersects or coincides with channels marked by the Lateral Buoyage System.
NOAA chart coverage of this portion of Florida"s GICW between Carrabelle and Perdido Key, FL is provided by charts #11404, #11402, #11393, #11390, #11385, and #11378. These charts can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
Chart #11404 Carrabelle to Apalachicola Bay
Chart #11402 Apalachicola Bay to Lake Wimico
Chart #11393 Lake Wimico to East Bay
Chart #11390 East Bay to West Bay
Chart #11385 West Bay to Santa Rosa Sound
Chart #11378 Santa Rosa Sound to Dauphine Island
Distances and Mileages
All distances along the Florida Gulf Intracoastal Waterway are given in statute miles unless otherwise noted. Statute miles are used in order to conform to the distances shown on the small craft charts typically used along this route.
Unlike the GICW of Florida’s west coast, this portion of the GICW between Carrabelle and Perdido Key, FL is measured based on decreasing mileage when westbound (East of Harvey Lock - EHL) from (MM "376.0 EHL") to (MM "170.0 EHL".)
The Federal Project Depth for this portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway provides for a channel depth of 12 feet. While every effort is made to maintain this project depth, the actual controlling depths in the channels may vary due to shoaling reducing the available water depth until maintenance dredging can be accomplished.
- All operating bridges in Florida guard VHF Channel 09.
- The U.S. Coast Guard advises all vessels to exercise caution in any area where the GICW intersects major shipping channels. A "Security Call" on VHF channel 13 is requested prior to crossing any shipping channels, especially during periods of restricted visibility.
Bridges, Locks, and Overhead Power Lines
At last count, a total of 13 bridges cross the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between Carrabelle and Perdido Key, FL. The fixed bridges along this route provide a minimum vertical clearances of 50’.
This list is believed to be accurate as of January 2017. If any errors or omissions are noted, please e-mail us at with any corrections or recommendations.
GICW - Florida (Panhandle) Bridge Schedule
Florida (Panhandle) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridges
|Mile Marker||Bridge||Charted Vert. Clear.||Schedule||Restrictions||VHF|
|361.2 EHL||St. Georges Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|351.4 EHL||John Gorrie Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|329.3 EHL||White City Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|315.4 EHL||Overstreet Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|295.4 EHL||Dupont Bridge||50’||Fixed Bridge|
|284.6 EHL||Hathaway Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|271.8 EHL||West Bay Creek Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge||Twin Spans|
|250.4 EHL||Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|234.2 EHL||Mid-Bay Bridge||64’||Fixed Bridge|
|223.1 EHL||Brooks Bridge||50’||Fixed Bridge|
|206.6 EHL||Navarre Causeway Bridge||50’||Fixed Bridge|
|189.0 EHL||Pensacola Beach Bridge||65’||Fixed Bridge|
|171.8 EHL||Perdido Key Bridge||73’||Fixed Bridge|
The table above lists the bridges, their schedules, and restrictions along Florida's Panhandle route segment of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from it's beginning at Carrabelle, FL to the Alabama state line.
This bridge operating schedule can be downloaded for your personal and private use as a ZIP file. The file contains the schedule in Adobe (.pdf) file format.
Overhead Cable and Power Lines
The minimum authorized clearance of overhead cables crossing this section of the GICW is 70 feet and is found on West Bay Creek at (MM "272.5 EHL".)
Caution - Many of the overhead cables over the waterway carry high voltage, and an extra margin of safety should be allowed when the weather is threatening.
Tidal ranges are fairly small along Florida’s panhandle coast. Under normal conditions the mean range of tide averages slightly about 1.5’ at Carrabella and decreases to approximately 1.1’ at Pensacola.
The type of tide experienced in this area is typically a "Diurnal Tide" - exhibiting (1) high tide and (1) low tide each day.
Inlets and Passes
There are numerous Entrances, Inlets, or Passes between the Gulf of Mexico and this section of Florida’s Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (approximately 12.) Many of these are only suitable for the smallest of vessels with shallow draft and local knowledge, but some can be considered navigable for most vessels.
East Pass is in the vicinity of (MM "375.0 EHL") and separates Dog Island from St. Georges Island. This pass is well marked and with depths averaging 20’.
Port St. Joe Inlet
Port St. Joe Inlet is near (MM "327.0 EHL)" via the Gulf Canal connecting Port St. Joe with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The inlet is deep and well marked with buoys and ranges. The entrance is located to the NNW of Cape San Blas between St. Joseph Point and St. Andrew Point.
St. Andrews Inlet
St. Andrews Inlet, in the vicinity of mile marker "288.5 EHL" enters between Lower Grand Lagoon and Shell Island. The channel is deep and is marked by buoys and ranges to its junction with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
The entrance to Pensacola Bay is Caucus Channel lying between Perdido Key to the west and Santa Rosa Island to the east. The entrance is over ½ mile wide and has a project depth of 35’. The channel is well marked by lighted ranges, lights, daybeacons, and buoys.
Pensacola Light (Fl 20s), 191 feet above the water is the principal mark for the entrance.