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:
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
If any errors or omissions are noted, please e-mail us at
with any corrections or recommendations.
The above tables can be downloaded for your personal and private use. They list the bridges, their schedules, and restrictions in statute miles, nautical miles, and kilometers along Florida’s Panhandle segment of the Intracoastal Waterway from Carrabelle, FL to the Alabama state line.
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 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.