Juniper Creek FL

My wife and I are looking for a central FL paddling spot we haven’t been to and based on some of the reviews here and other places were considering Juniper Creek. The reviews here make reference to a shuttle for $25 but the reviews are several years old.

Does anyone know if the shuttle is still available? Is this possible as an out and back trip? One reviewer notes strong current but this can be relative. We’ve done out and back trips on the Rainbow river would Juniper Creek be comparable?

Are there other nearby places we should consider? We’re also planning a day of paddling around Cedar Key.

Juniper Run is very narrow

– Last Updated: Jun-04-14 10:04 AM EST –

Rainbow River very wide.

No you should not try to paddle down and up. Not only is the current quick, the turns tight and the river often less than eight feet wide...

the whole sometimes unskilled flotillas of canoes careening at you makes that unwise.

Juniper Run has a shuttle service. Fees vary from twelve to 33 bucks

For many more trip suggestions see Jack Ls compilation

Chassahowitzka is a personal favorite of mine as is Snake Creek

If you havent done Silver River lately, with the closure of the amusement park there are more paddle trails available.

Pick a calm day and get out to Seahorse Key from Cedar Key.. Its just wonderful but do pay attention to tides.

Also the Withlacoochee River is great and has a trail map.

And Rock Springs Run just outside of Ocala is another good one.

One of my all time favorite paddles

– Last Updated: Jun-03-14 10:50 PM EST –

I think Juniper is top hat.

I wouldn't try to paddle up and down, for the reasons Kayamedic says. It's too much fun just going downstream.

It starts very narrow with about six inches of water

and pools of quicksand.

It then widens into a canopy of jungle overhangs, very twisty.

It then widens into some beautiful water prairies with birds and gators.

I don't recall the shuttle being as expensive as $25. You go into the park, which requires an entry fee by itself. You can then pay for a regular shuttle or a reverse shuttle (you leave your car at the takeout), which is less expensive.

In the same general area is Rainbow, which you've done and isn't as nice as Juniper, imo.

Silver is paddle up and down on crystal clear spring water. It has monkeys in the trees but usually a lot of other boats, including power boats.

Silver runs into the Oklawaha, which has three sections and nice tributaries when the water is high. I probably like the Oklawaha better than Silver because it's all downstream and more jungley. You can get shuttles on it from the Oklawaha Canoe Outpost.

Or contact the Marion County Aquaholics, who frequently run group trips all over central Florida.

Ichetucknee Springs
Search: Florida State river Parks

for Google choices.

Ichetucknee Springs doesn’t immediately show but is clear and popular. The spring fed Santa Fe River is nearby, once with a livery.

Santa Fe was crossed by De Soto ( and Plymouth), has a State Park, and of original Florida charm. The bottom holds a supply of fossils mined by caged divers who were forced to give the bones back to the uncaged State.

Crystal River is populated and popular.

The Rainbow was unknown to us but we know the land around the Cross Florida dig. Is that power boat territory ?

If you’re adventurous, read my report on Flamingo to Long Key here on the Trips board.

Trips out to Cayo Costa or the Island parks around Tampa, Egmont Key from Fort Desoto or Honeymoon and Caldesi, are easy paddles with liveries, try Sweetwater.

Greenwave forum for FL paddling
Lots of trip reports broken down nicely by area

Juniper up and back
is as KM says not really feasible. Its probably worth a shuttle fee but one of the drivers is a really surly type. I would not do the Itchetucknee this time of year as this is the tubing and inflatables season and there’s wall to wall kids acting badly. It can be almost impassable and not fun. The silver River is always great and can be up and back. There’s a put-in a coupla miles east out of Ocala on the right before you get to the high overpass. I understand you can take out or put-in now at the old Silver Springs Park in Ocala. Have fun.


Juniper is what I imagine the Garden of

– Last Updated: Jun-04-14 6:25 AM EST –

Eden must have been like!
It is nothing like the Rainbow river. It is complete wilderness in a dense tropical forest and you won't see a house on either side.
It starts off only a few inches deep and one boat width, and then as more springs flow into it gradually gets wider with deeper pools here and there

Don't paddle it on a weekend (too crowded)
If you are a strong paddler, you can paddle it up stream. There is one strong rapid that was created a few years ago when a new spring opened up.
My wife and I have done it up stream several times. She just about makes it through the rapid. You could pull yourself through it if you needed to, since the water is not deep.
I would advise getting the shuttle the first time and then you'll know what it is like.
If you have a bike you can always do your own thing (shuttle) by dropping your wife off with your boats at the beginning (there is a park fee). Then you drive your vehicle with bike down to the take out. Park your vehicle and bike back to the put-in. Just lock the bike to a tree. It is in the park and should be safe.
I have done that several times.

Other musts are The Rainbow River, the Silver River, the Weekeewachee River, Alexander Springs Run, and the Chassahowitzka river which all can be paddled up and back- but not on a weekend!

For descriptions of all of them and lots more, check out our Google web site;


A couple more…

– Last Updated: Jun-05-14 8:03 PM EST –

that haven't been mentioned are Gum Slough off the Withlacoochie River north of Rt. 44. It's a spring run deep into the forest.
Blackwater creek to Lake Norris is a delight. You paddle upstream through a black water swamp with a dense green canopy which opens up into an amazingly beautiful lake with bonsai looking cypress trees.
The other end of Blackwater creek to the Wekiva is a lovely bit of forest. Very few people paddle this one and it requires a permit from the Seminole Forest rangers.
All of these trips are up and back, or down and back paddle trips. These are waters less travelled, so you may want to pack a saw or be prepared for an occasional pull over.
E-mail me if you want details, and if you'd like company perhaps Deb and I could join you, if our schedules allow!
All the best!

Blackwater needs saw
not downstream from the landing but upstream at Moccasin Spring there is a tree requiring a hand saw… It didnt move for us.

That tree has been cut,
but last I heard, there was one blocking the way down closer to the Wekiva.