Cruising/Navigating 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.

Navigation

Buoyage

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.

Charts

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".)

Channels

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.

Communications


Found along the shores of the Florida Panhandle Intracoastal Waterway

Bridges, Locks, and Overhead Power Lines

Bridges

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 July 2020. If any errors or omissions are noted, please e-mail us at with any corrections or recommendations.

Open Down Arrow GIWW - Florida Panhandle Bridge Schedule
Carrabelle to Panama City

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridges - Florida (GIWW)


St. George Sound to East Bay

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
 
361.2 EHL St. Georges Island Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
351.4 EHL John Gorrie Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
347.0 EHL Apalachicola RR Swing Bridge 11’ Fully open and out of service. Abandoned  
330.7 EHL RR Pontoon Bridge 0’ Fully open and out of service. Abandoned  
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    

Open Down Arrow GIWW - Florida Panhandle Bridge Schedule
Panama City to Destin

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridges - Florida (GIWW)


St. Andrew Bay to Choctawhatchee Bay

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
 
284.6 EHL Hathaway Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge    
271.8 EHL West Bay Creek Bridge 65’ Fixed Bridge Twin Spans  
250.4 EHL Clyde B. Wells Bridge 66’ Fixed Bridge    
234.2 EHL Mid-Bay Bridge 64’ Fixed Bridge    

Open Down Arrow GIWW - Florida Panhandle Bridge Schedule
Destin to Perdido Key

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridges - Florida (GIWW)


Choctawhatchee Bay to Ono Island

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
 
223.1 EHL Brooks Memorial 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 Gulf Beach 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.

Florida (Panhandle) GIWW Bridge Schedule - Download

GICW/GIWW Bridge and Lock Schedule (Florida to Texas) - Download

Locks

None

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.

Tides

Tidal ranges are fairly small along Florida’s panhandle coast. Under normal conditions the mean range of tide averages slightly above 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.

Entrances, Inlets, and Passes

There are numerous Entrances, Inlets, or Passes between the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Panhandle Coast of Florida. Between East Pass (Carrabelle, FL) in the east and Perdido Key to the west, there were ≈10 at last count. All provide access to sheltered inland waters with most providing access to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

While many of these are only suitable for shallow draft vessels and/or local knowledge, some can be considered navigable for most vessels. We have listed them on the next page along with useful information on each to aid you in deciding if you wish to use a particular inlet.

NEXT - Florida’s Panhandle Coast - Entrances, Inlets, & Passes



NEXT - GIWW (Alabama)

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