The Drayton Island Ferry provides the only access for vehicles to Drayton Island. Residents of the island petitioned for the establishment of a ferry service in 1939; operations began in 1943. The original ferry barge sank at its moorings on January 12, 1956; although it was salvaged and returned to service, a replacement, measuring 48 feet (15 m) by 18 feet (5.5 m), was acquired from J.H. Coppedge and Co. in Jacksonville for $6,793. A safety inspection of the ferry was carried out in 1963 after reports were received that 40 people had been carried on some trips; the ferry's passenger limit was set at six.
In 1968 the ferry received a $1800 subsidy from Putnam County for its operations; overall the ferry had cost $4129 to the county to operate over the previous year, while in 1965 it had produced $2,267 in toll revenue. Repairs to the ferry landing were proposed in the early 1980s, with a proposal for the establishment of a special taxing district to provide funding, but were rejected as unneeded; questions were raised about the financial management of the operation at the time.
The ferry is currently operated by Putnam County, Florida; capable of transporting two vehicles per trip, there is a $9 toll for passage to the privately owned island. The ferry, which consists of a tugboat and barge combination, is located near daymarker No. 70 on the river. It nominally runs three times daily; however, the schedule is considered flexible.