Paddling encounters on Rock Springs Run

We met my Dad and our Granddaughter and family at Rock Springs Run and stayed at a rental on the water near Kings Landing. I thought I would share the sights to be seen there.

Though much of the run is shallow there are deep holes. We did a canoe T rescue to empty a big fiberglass canoe without float tanks in the ends when 3 people turned over in a deep hole. None were wearing a PFD. They backed up the steady stream of paddle craft coming down stream. All was well when done except one older iphone got wet. No one panicked, and I refrained from mentioning a gator swam into that very spot the evening before.

Did a short solo paddle in light rain when we first arrived.

The canoe inspector.

The local landlord checking us out.

African Gecko in the grass. One of many invasive FL critters.

Little Blue Heron with an eye on a meal.

Paddling up stream.

Reached into the water and pulled out a red belly.

Letting it go.

A Softshell Turtle.

Paddle on!

Pointing the way back.

Wood Stork or as the the native Floridians called them Ironheads.


The river is a very popular paddling spot.

Tree climbing seems like fun,

Sabel Palms locally called Cabbage Palm as you can eat the heart of the ground level young ones.

Bromeliads/Air Plants

A Day at the Dock begins.

Morning mist, and sun hitting Spanish Moss.

Musk Turtle swimming into reach.

She caught this one by herself with her own rod.

Bowfin one of several caught.

This Slider made the mistake of biting the hook. We released him no harm no foul.

Seminole Killifish make a great live bait for Largemouthed Bass.

Nice Bass, but the big one got away.

Saw this dead gobbler in the water float by and get caught in the water plants. It was gone the next day; probably eaten by one of the 3 gators we saw on this stretch of water.

Saw numerous Swallowtail Kites.

Approaching the end of a good day.


I’m jealous.

looks like a great trip!

That river always has lots of life. Cute little sawwhet(?) owl!

That looks like a great trip!

Meanwhile where I live, people are getting excited because we’re starting to see little spots of open water in some places, so we can start to see the paddling season approaching in the not too distant future…

If you are talking about the canoe inspector photos. That is a Red-shouldered Hawk. They look similar to a Broad-winged Hawk. You can see a bit of rust color on the shoulder in this slightly out of focus photo. It’s a bit puffed up looking owl like as the morning was cold.


One of the camping spots on Rock Springs run also has bear warning signs. Lots of visitors on the rock.

Okay. Name the river and the state.

Rock Springs Run is a tributary of the Wekiva River which in turn empties into the St. Johns River which empties into the Atlantic at Jacksonville, Florida.

Here is a link to some info.
Rock Springs Run State Reserve | Florida State Parks

Great photos. Thanks.

Thanks for posting this; we didn’t know this one.