The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is very pleased to publish the latest in the superb series of articles authored by our good friends, and strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water Chartguides.” This story centers on a body of water, Middle River, which provides excellent anchorage. This stream lies off the AICW’s western shores a few miles north of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Bridge.
I know this area well, as my parents used to rent a winter home which fronted onto Middle River. As a boy of ten our so, you could find me almost daily piloting either my sailfish or our 16-foot Boston Whaler around these waters. Those were truly golden, broad days.
But, now, back to the present. Let’s hear what Diana and Mark have to tell us!
South Florida’s AICW is a bit like a “Tour of Homes” as you motor by impressive and varied waterfront lots.
We love gawking at the mega-mansions with million-dollar poolside landscaping and the pink bungalows with flocks of plastic flamingos.
But the downside of wall-to-wall canal-front real estate is that shoreside access is much harder to come by. Shore is all private property, often within private developments that prohibit any dinghy dockage. That’s why Middle River anchorage, with shore access at Fort Lauderdale’s George English Park, is so special.
Middle River, at STM 1063.4, is a deep and relatively quiet (by South Florida standards!) anchorage, convenient to the AICW, in a no-wake-zone river lined with homes and park land.
Exit the ICW southeast of G3 and proceed northwesterly up charted Middle River, north of the large east-west canal home island. Anchor in the river’s wide spot, with the fixed bridge (vertical clearance 5 feet) to the north. Middle River is substantially deeper than charted: we surveyed depths of 15-26 feet (at 2.3’ above MLLW).
Shore access is at the George English Park boat ramp to the north, upriver just past the low-clearance fixed bridge. The park is 20 acres, with a recreation center, tennis courts, and a walking/jogging trail. Many restaurants and Galleria Fort Lauderdale are nearby, including a supermarket across the bridge to the west.
I’ve included a photo of the anchorage as well as a sample page from our new AnchorGuide series showing the anchorage location, the actual versus charted depths in the Middle River, and the location of the park boat ramp.
Unfortunately, for all the park’s excellent amenities and access, the park does not allow dogs.
Best and see you On the Water,
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle