FL river trips

My son and I have been paddling together since he was young. Most of that has been in the west where I live or Canada. But work commitments will keep him in Florida this year. My question is for our friends in Florida, or anyone else with experience paddling the spring fed Rivers there. If you had one week and wanted to canoe 2 or 3 rivers which would you choose and why? Thanks in advance.

Oh, one more thing, do you know any way to rent a tandem, we usually paddle two solos, but I’m sure that is too much to ask, that is not made of aluminum?

You didn’t say what part of Florida,…

– Last Updated: Mar-17-13 6:47 PM EST –

but take a look at our google site. Pick a few out from that, and then ask which would be prefered.


There are a bunch of neat ones, but if you get near the Ocala Area, you could do the Silver river, the Rainbow River, and Juniper Springs run

jack L

What Jack said,
Florida is a pretty big state. What part will you be in? See Places to Paddle on this website under the “Go Paddling” tab on the bar above. See also Florida Paddle Trails Assoc. http://floridapaddlingtrails.com/

There is a lot of variety to see here. If we know the area you wish to hit, you’ll get up to date info.


Silver River
Have paddled most of the spring fed rivers in Florida. If I had to pick one, it would be the Silver river. Here is why- It is a pristine beautiful river. There are monkeys that live on it. It is a park, and therefore, no houses along it’s banks. There are plenty of others, but this one is the best IMHO. If you go to keystonekayaks.com and click on the Florida Paddling adventure video (bottom left of opening page). You will see a video we just shot this winter with several rivers including the Silver River. Note= you need to turn on the “HD” on the vimeo player to run the video (on the bottom right of the player). Otherwise it freezes about 15 seconds in.

try to avoid Juniper and Silver
on weekends. Early AM is ideal to view wildlife.

I like the Wacissa from the State Park to Goose Pasture, but its a day trip.

Most of the Suwanee is gorgeous. The Alapaha deserves some mention as well as the Withlacootchee.

Also the St Marks… This is in the Tallahassee area…of course the Suwanee covers a bit of FL territory.

There have been entire books written on FL rivers. I also liked the Chassahowitzka, thanks to the suggestion from Jack L. We saw some two dozen manatees feeding in one spot.

Rainbow, Crystal, Homosassa
You can rent boats at Knights of Pythias park on the Rainbow, Plantation Inn Dive Center for Crystal, Kings Bay and 3 Sisters Springs (best for manatee viewing). They will even shuttle you to the Rainbow and Homosassa.

Spring fed river trip
The Wacissa and Wakulla are excellent spring fed rivers to paddle. The Wilderness Way rents boats and has guided tours. http://www.thewildernessway.net/index.htm They will rent you any type of Wilderness System boat. The vast knowledge they have is invaluable. You might even see a Manatee on the Wakulla.

Greg Hester