Anyone paddle Ocklawaha River in FL?

A group of us are planning to put in at Ray Wayside Park, paddle upstream on the Ocklawaha River for a few hours, and then paddle back. Would appreciate any advice about this stretch of the river.

We have put in at Ray Wayside and paddled upstream on the Silver River and back many times, but have never tried the Ocklawaha. Would appreciate your thoughts on how the two trips compare. Thanks.

We have done it.

– Last Updated: Nov-16-12 7:32 PM EST –

Naturally the water is not nearly as clear as the Silver, but most of the way is pristene wilderness.
The wild bands of monkeys range between the Silver and there, so keep your eyes open for them.
Quite a few gators, but no real big ones.
Watch out for the power boaters. If tyhey have been drinking they could care less about paddlers.
All and all it is a great paddle.
We'll be there in a few months

Hopefully Kayakcrazy will chime in here. That is her stomping grounds


Why not downstream to Gore’s Landing
It’s an easy shuttle from Ray’s Wayside and you won’t be repeating the same stretch of river, up and down.

You can also try sneaking into the mysterious Dead and Cedar Rivers on the right side of the Ocklawaha if the water’s high enough. They usually are interesting labyrinths of blow-downs, other woody occlusions and secret channels.

The Ocklawaha
upstream isn’t very pretty. After a short distance it widens out. Power boats also running wide open on that section. Ray’s to Gores is a beautiful section to paddle. As Glenn said the shuttle is easy. Both Ray Wayside & Gores Landing are County Parks so you still pay only one parking fee & it is good both places. I’m actually taking a group on that section today. It is my favorite. Not as clear as the Silver but most of the time you can still see the bottom. kayakrazee

Thanks for your input. We ended up paddling the Silver on 11/20 and Ocklawaha on 11/21. Both days, we put in at Ray’s Wayside, paddled upstream and then paddled back. The theme park was closed, which made for a peaceful experience on the Silver. On the Ocklawaha, we paddled upstream to the 314 bridge, and then paddled back. Weather was beautiful both days, there were very few motor boats, and we had a great time. If you’re interested, the following links have photos from both days:

We look forward to future trips, including exploring different parts of the Ocklawaha.