The mouth of St. Marys River lies just west of AICW marker #29. This impressive stream serves as Florida’s northern boundary. It originates in the great Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, long a source of mystery and romance. The river is deep and easily navigable as far west as the village of St. Marys. It is reasonably well marked and has only a few shoals to trouble visitors. Cruising craft of almost any size and draft can explore the eastern portion of St. Marys River with confidence.
The St. Marys shoreline remains delightfully undeveloped saltwater marsh, except for the St. Marys village waterfront. Another exception, and an unfortunate one, is the large pulp-processing mill just north of marker #3. This plant is one of several in the region. When the wind is from the wrong quarter, the smell of progress is not so sweet.
The only marina on the river is located along the St. Marys village waterfront. This facility offers twin dockage basins.
Along with its two principal auxiliary waters, North and Jolly rivers, St. Marys River offers several protected overnight anchorages. The broad section of the river east of marker #3 is too open and too well traveled for anchorage consideration. Cruisers will do far better to consider the more sheltered spot just off the river’s southerly banks, west of marker #10. Depths run 8 feet or better, but, even here, the surrounding marsh-grass shores do not provide adequate protection in heavy weather. Be sure to anchor south of the main channel, and don’t forget to show an anchor light.
Another possibility is to anchor abeam of St. Marys village in 10 to 20 feet of water. Protection is particularly good from northern blows, and it is a quick dinghy trip to the village. Tie your dinghy to the small pier at the public launching ramp in the midsection of the waterfront.