Looking for some Florida west coast

paddling information. ( a bunch)

  1. Has anyone stayed at Manatee Springs State park, and would care to comment on it.
  2. How far is the Manatee Springs Run before it enters the Suwannee River?
  3. Is that end of the Suwannee River good paddling, or is there a lot of power boat traffic?
  4. Same for the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge where it meets the Gulf?

    5 I would also like to hear about paddling opportunities at the Cedar Keys National wildlife refugee, Waccasassa Bay and the Waccasasa River

  5. Heading way south is there good paddling opportunities at Oscar Scherer State Park. We will be at Myakka River SP and thought we should check out the coastal opportunities nearby.

    7 I am also interested in the paddling opportunities near Del-nor Wiggins Pass State Park.

    If you are a lurker, and have any tips, or experience, in regards to the above that are good or not good please post or send me a private e-mail.

    Thanks in advance,



Florida west coast info
Padddling around Myakka can be very interesting considering all the alligators around the lake and river.

We have paddled from Venice Inlet up the intercoastal to Bird Keys & into Oscar Scherrer State park on the way back to Venice. It is a nice paddle but you can have quite a bit of boat traffic especialy on the weekends.

Check with A Silent Sports Outfitters in Nokomis. They can be very helpfull with finding other places to paddle in the area.

I went to DelNor Wiggins Yesterday
The Ranger at the gate sent me to Cocohatchee River Park to launch. Tons of birds, and lots of boat traffic too. Not for me. Better spots in SW Florida.

A little help
I can give a little bit of advice on my end of the world. Manatee springs SP . Haven’t camped there but have done day trips over there several times. The spring run to the river is pretty short. Less than a quarter mile.Pretty big river down there and can be allot of boat traffic on the weekends.Same way on down the river to the gulf.

Cedar key. The paddle over to Atsenia Otie is a nice trip. Just a half mile offshore and the hike up to the cemetery is worth making.YOu can land on the North end of Atsenia and hike the whole island or if the tide is high enough you can paddle to the cut through and be right at the cemetery.Lots of places on the way into cedar key to pull over and throw a boat in and just explore.

Not familiar enough with the wacassasa to comment.

Hope this helps a little


Manatee and Cedar Key
Paddled both a year ago February - sure was nice compared to upstate NY at that season!

Manatee Springs was nice for camping - the spring is not far off the river, but they may have it off limits if the critters are in residence. We launched 15 miles or so upriver and made the trip back to the state park. There are a number of springs along the way to explore. Saw almost no boat traffic. When we got back to the state park, we hung out in the kayaks near the observation deck, and had two manatees swim by right under our boats. We kept still to make sure we did not bother them, but they seemed fine with having us nearby - a great experience.

At Cedar Key, the weather was pretty rough and one of our small group was not experienced with bumpy water. We paddled out just to Atsenia Otie Key and explored a lagoon with an eagle nest (I was in my skin boat and was verrrry careful around the oyster beds). Landed on a sandy beach and hiked a bit - very nice place. I sure want to go back and paddle further around those keys.

Cheers, Alan

Thanks so far
I was hoping that the Manatee springs run was six or seven miles long like some of the ones farther down in Florida.


springs run

Is there possibly a place to launch maybe 5-7 miles upstream from the springs and then paddle back to the spring/campground area.

We do almost ALL of our canoeing while on camping trips - it would be nice to paddle back to the springs. When paddling from the spring out, you are always going against the current on the way back.

I’d just rather do the 5-7 miles or so against the current back to the spring so I don’t see the same sights on the way back as I saw on the way out - which is what usually happens for us! We usually go with another family so we would have 2 vehicles where we could do this!


Jo from So. Fla.

Lower Suwannee
From Fanning Srings to the Gulf is 35 river miles, and from Mannatee Springs to gulf is about 25. THis section of the river is a bit wider and does not have the limestone bluffs and big springs that the upper sections have. It does have some beuatiful cypress and tupelo stands and is fairly isolated (by FL standards).

Manatee Springs SP has typical SP campsites - nice but failry close. The spring run is as described by previous posters and is parralled by a boardwalk. Pretty, but short.

Suwannee River Water mangemgnet district will hook you up with a free rec guide and map of boat ramps and canoe launches. Call them at 386-362-1001.