Where to paddle on anniversary?

My husband is pretty new to kayaks, though he has done some exploring around on other boats in the nearby hundred miles, perhaps. I am a total newbie. We both just got our first kayaks and our anniversary is coming up next month. We live in Polk County, FL, but he is more interested in possibly paddling down Weeki Wachee for our anniversary vacation, though he’s wondering how we’re going to get back to the vehicle against the current… I’m game to go for an adventure, but wondering if that’s the best spot nearby and what tips others can suggest for me for that location, other locations, and any kayak tips in general.

Keep in mind, I can’t swim (my husband can) and don’t want to do anything over-adventurous, given that. I would like to have a safe yet fun trip. Yes, we plan to carry the obvious supplies (water, whistles, life-vests, sunscreen, insect repellent, and probably a few others-- though any other suggestions are more than welcome). I also hope we will be someplace where we can see a lot of beautiful plant and animal life and not have to spend more than, perhaps, $100 on the trip, give or take.

I appreciate any serious answers. Wish me luck on a great anniversary trip!

As much as I like the Weekie Wachee,
I wouldn’t advise it for a anniversary trip.

My ideal anniversary trip in that part of Florida would be Juniper Springs run in the Ocala National Forest.

It is pristine wilderness and you can do a down stream paddle with a shuttle

Don’t do any of the clear spring rivers on a weekend. They are very crowded.

If you have your heart set on the Weekie Wachee, you can get a shuttle there also

Jack L

Silver River has less current
is prettier… Weeki Wachee is a dog to paddle upstream because most paddlers only go one way and that is down. You will be fighting hordes of people if you go upstream

Its not a terribly attractive stream anyway.

The Silver they would have to paddle up stream against the current.

Unless by now some enterprising power boater can take them and their yaks up and let them float back down.

Years ago we saw very few power boats there, and now there are more tour boats than paddlers

Jack L

But the current is lots slower
and staying to the side makes it even easier. Way more wiggle room.

Learn to Swim
You’ll have a much more enjoyable and safer time kayaking.

IF you capsize and are wearing a PFD, you still need to be able to get yourself out of trouble by swimming.


Look over the Santa Fe

Way too crowded !
It is like a zoo with tubers

Jack L

tuber tuber tuber…
crowds are fun sometimes, I haven’t been in uh 20 years.

The Blackwater is tops of course and has a livery.

There was a livery on the Santa Fe. You could arrange for a pickup on the Suwanee after paddling upstream against a near zero current past the Desoto bridge into “Real Florida” then back down to the Suwanee and downriver past the ? springs and Interstate bridge.

Silver River
Silver River is now a state park and the state is slowing dismantling the old “theme park” that was there, although the glass bottom boats will be around for awhile.

You can now launch from within the park, without having to launch from the Ray Wayside Park launch on the Ocklawaha River. This means you don’t have to battle the current. That said, I enjoy launching from the Ocklawaha and enjoying the full spring run, complete with the monkeys.

Last winter I witnessed hundreds of monkeys trying the cross the river. They were trying to jump across, near the top of the tree canopy. The adults made it, but the juveniles failed and it was like watching a hailstorm of monkeys pelting the river, a few just narrowly missing our kayaks.

Greg Stamer