|Report By: || tioti|| Date: 4/12/2017|| |
See 12 photos
|| Map & Directions: View|
|Overnight kayak/camping at Otter Camp on Rock Spring Run|
My report. Im giving it a ranking of "Best overall kayak/camping run in Florida" and plan to do it again.
For this overnight kayak/camping run I will be using three of my 10.0 Lancer kayaks because they are short, wide, deep and there is ample storage compacity. Most of the info and contact numbers have been already covered for Rock Spring Run but because this ended up being the perfect two day overnight run,I thought I would share some things. I did plan ahead and also pre-booked the Otter Camp spot, the launch and shuttle from King's Landing. Being I would be traveling from Northwest Fl and accompanied with my two sons and their limited time, I wanted there to be no problem's with lodging and travel times. I looked into lodging for the night before the run of motels in close by proximity. Glad I did. The city's of Wildwood and Apopka motel reviews are unbelievably horrible. Trust me. I ended up booking a camp spot at Kelly Park, $17.50 for the three of us. This park is the beginning of Rock Spring. Upin arriving, we visited the spring and then set up camp. They have electrical so we charged our junk. The morning of the run April 12, 2017 was a sunny 76. There was a large picnic table at the campsite which was helpful in the waterproof packing for the trip. The only launch location is Kings Landing, about a mile away. We arrived at 10AM and signed in, had our identification photos taken and paid the $20. per kayak fee for shuttle. There were a few people launching for day runs so we took our time loading the kayaks. Last launch time is 11AM but they let us wait a few minutes to allow those people to be well ahead of us so we would be last on the run and have the run to ourselves. So we set off at 11:15. At MM 0.2 there is a sign for everyone not doing the run this is as far as they can go. From there the shallow wide water becomes somewhat tighter, deeper with black silt bottom. The trees are tall and sun light is pretty blocked out so this part, about 3 miles is lush with a lot of hard to see obstacles such as logs and limbs just underneath the surface. I let my boys take turns with the lead so they could point out if I needed to hang to left or right seeing I was riding much lower in the water carrying a larger load and the Bear Box. I did weigh down their kayak bows with firewood for better control. Then suddenly the water becomes faster, shallow with sandy bottom again. Beautiful. The tree canopy begins to widen as well. At MM 4.8 on the right we stopped to check out Big Buck Camp and have lunch. There is a nice beach there to beach your kayaks. The camp site itself is up a trail about 500 feet to higher ground. It has a large area to accommodate 6 tents, picnic table and a bear box. Heading downstream again, about a half mile off the left is Indian Mound Camp. This one is a large area as well but because the bank is higher its close to the water. Another 0.2 down on the right we see the large tree overhanging the water that marks our camp site. We arrived at 3:15 so taking our time, stopping for breaks and lunch it was a 4 hour run. The camp has 2 sitting benches, a fire ring and a bear box. It was a great night at the camp. No street lights, no cars sounds, no people, just whippoorwills, owls and birds. We got cloudcover before sundown and the no see ems came out. Nothing that SSS didnt take care of. There were no mosquitoes but it has been very dry. Exploring the area we found boar wallows but were dry. So after a rain the mosquitis could be an issue. The next morning we took our time and set off for the last 2 miles to Wakiva River. If Walt Disney himself designed a water park ride he couldnt have done what nature bestiws and graces her beauty. The run gets fast, tight with hairpin cutbacks and wildlife everwhere. I tried to get photos but by the time I reached for the camera I was getting crooked. We started seeing a few people kayaking upstream so we knew our run was coming to an end. At Wakiva River we took a right and paddled upstream to the State Park, then drifted back down and 0.2 past the run to Wakiva Island. This is where Kings Landing picks up. There is food here as well as adult drinks. We arrived at 2PM so with 2 hours before pickup we paddeled down river a few miles where the river is wider. The ride back to King's Landing took about 35 minutes, where we left the Subaru. On the ride back I reflected about the run. How do I rank it? What didn't I like about it? How does it compare with the hundreds of other kayak/camping trip's I've done? I could not come up with anything about it I didn't like. No motor boats, no waverunners, no crowds, no road accessibility, not buggy, fast, clear water the twist and turns, the wildlife, very safe. So isolated you could do this run and camp butt naked if you wanted.
Final notes: I believe I had the right kayaks for this run. I dont baby my toys..therefore this run was easy and fun. I do not recommend this run using a canoe or kayak measuring over twelve feet. I spoke to a kayaker that has done this run in a 10.0 and a 11.5 and prefers tge 11.5. If you have an expensive or gel coat kayak, I would not use it here, there's a good chance you would cause damage by the logs and snags. Either a sit in or sit on is fine..but no way do this on a paddle board or a foot paddled kayak
|Location Type: ||River|
|Boat Type: ||Kayak|
|Distance (miles): ||8.5|
|Fees/Costs $: ||shuttle $20 per|
Photos from Rock Spring Run: (Click image to view full size)
Post Date: 4/18/2017
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