If you had 5 days to paddle in Ocala FL

Where would you go and what order would you go in. Putin/Take out info would also be greatly apprecated. As always, thanks in advance.


As Follows:

– Last Updated: Dec-29-06 1:17 PM EST –

1. Juniper Springs, (but not on a weekend)
-It is a 7 mile run one way. Shuttles are available or you can do it both ways, etc
Put in is at Juniper Springs National Forest Rec area. from Ocala follow 40 to Silver Springs, and then continue on 40 for approximately 25 miles to the Rec area on the left.

2. Silver Springs and Silver River- trip length 10.7 miles round trip. - Take 40 out of Ocala to Silver Springs - About 6 miles past the silver Springs tourist attraction bear right just before the bridge that crosses the Oklawaha River to the put-in at Ray Wayside Park- the canoe launch area is on the left at the end of the parking area.
- paddle to the right for a short distance until you hit the main river and then turn right. - You will be against a pretty strong current, but it is well worth it. Watch for the wild monkeys in the trees along the way. When you get to the tourist attraction you are not allowed to land, but you can paddle over all the springs.

3.Oklawaha River- Same put in as number 2, but when you come to the end of the little canal turn left instead of right.
Go a short distance and you will enter the Oklawaha. You can turn right and paddle up stream, (the current isn't bad) and return you can go as far as you want and then return (10 to 20 miles). It is almost all wilderness exceptnear the bridge.
- Or you can go down stream and then return or if you have a shuttle you can do a one way down to Gores landing.

4. Rainbow River to Springs. Go to Dunnellon and put in on the Withlacoochee river on left side after you cross the bridge. Paddle up river for a short distance, and the Rainbow River will enter on your left. Paddle up river to the springs and return.

5. For a change of pace go over to the Homosassa River and paddle with the Manatees (10 mile plus or minus)
- Go to Homosassa Springs and head south on route 19 - take a right on Yulee road just after the State Wildlife Park. - Follow for several miles to the village of Homosassa and keep following the boat ramp signs along the way.
At the stop sign the boat ramp(which is not the one you will use) will be straight in front of you, but you will take a right, and then another right between the two motel buildings.
there will be a large field in front where you can park, and the small kayak ramp will be on your left behind River Sports Kayak
. Parking and put-in is free but you might want to check in with the shop owner, (Kirk). He is a good guy.
- After you put in turn left and go out the little canal to Monkey Island which will be straight in front of you. - Turn right and head up river. After a few miles you will pass Halls River on your left, and then yolu will start to see the tour boats and dive boats.
As you continue watch for the Manatees bowling ball like heads surfacing, and when you finally get to the area where they hang out you might want to get into the water and swim with them.
There is an area off to the left before the roped off area where you should be able to get out in the mud and tie up your boat if you do want to swim with them. Just kick that small gator that hangs out there out of your way.

A couple more places are the Withlacoochee River and Alexander Springs, but these are what I would recommend.

Hopefully P-nets LooneyTick will see your post and you can get up with him.

If you need any more particulars, give me a shout.

Cheers and Happy New Year,

5 paddle trips in 5 days
1. Alexander Springs

2. DeLeon Springs

3. Juniper Springs

4. Silver Springs

5. Wekiva River

You ned to put Juniper in front
of Alexander!

What can you tell me about Deleon Springs, and where is it?

I would be interested.


Cheers,and Happy New year,


JackL, Deleon Springs
is north of Deland (page 74 in Gazetteer) and flows into Lake Woodruff on the St. Johns. It is pretty, wide, an out and back paddle without too much current. Put in at DeLeon Springs State Recreation Area. There is a restaurant there, famous because you can make your own pancakes.

Have you paddled around the Blue Spring area of the St. Johns? (page 80)Put in at the end of French Ave in Orange City—just proceed straight on French Ave instead of turning left into Blue Spring State Park. Free launch area. Paddle upstream toward Blue Spring. Paddling into the spring run is not allowed during the winter when numerous manatees are present, but they will be out in the river feeding anyway. There are canals over to the Hontoon Dead River, one of my favorite nearby places for scenery and solitude.

Highland Park Fish Camp is another favorite place to launch, to enjoy Norris Dead River which flows from the St. Johns to Lake Woodruff.

These places are a bit far for a short stay in Ocala—there I would paddle Juniper, Silver River, Ocklawaha River (2 days), and Alexander Creek, in that order.

By the way, I heard that the concession at Juniper is now charging a $20 deposit to use their carts for the long haul down to the launch, so people will bring the carts back to the concession.

Happy paddling!


I’d drive to Orlando
and hop a plane to Albany, and paddle the Saranac Lakes and Saranac River to Lake Champlain.

Too hot for me in Florida.

Thanks a bunch

– Last Updated: Dec-29-06 7:11 PM EST –

We printed your info out and will have it with us when we are in that neck of the woods in the beginning of April on the way back from the Keys.

cheers, and Happy New Year,

Hey Jack
I’ve got the scoop on Deleon Springs Its not far from me we can check it out when you get here. I’ll do a run check for you.

My stompin grounds
Give me a hollar, if you come boatless I can help with rentals and other aspects of your trip. I’m usually available for paddling in this area.

JT in Central Florida

Sounds good

cheers, and Happy New Year,