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Weeki Wachee River Report


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Report By:  ed    Date: 11/20/2007 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 12 photos     Map & Directions: View


Tuesday, Nov 20 was a perfect autumn day escaping the chains of work and sneaking out for a paddle at Weeki Wachee River with Scott (realtyagentpro). We started at Rogers Park and after 6 challenging miles upstream, arrived at Weeki Wachee Springs.

My Report:

Autumn was in the air as Scott (realtyagentpro on Green Wave) and I made our way toward the tiny town of Weeki Wachee and the famous springs and river. A cool front had just arrived (donít you love FLA Ė cool front, not cold front!) and the outside temperature was chilly enough to keep the bugs away and sweat from building during the 6-mile upstream paddle.


If you have never paddled Weeki Wachee, itís truly one of the best places on Floridaís west coast to lay down a j-stroke. Visiting on weekdays youíre likely to see manatee, otter, heron, egrets, vultures, snakes and scores of fish and small mammals. Paddling on weekends, well, you might see those, but youíll be sharing the view with hundreds of other canoeists, kayakers and motor boaters.

Most people start their kayak or canoe trip at Weeki Wachee Canoe and Kayak Rental at the headsprings and head to a spot just shy of Rogerís park. The one-way 6 mile trip takes 2 to 4 hours, depending on other boat traffic, number of times you stop for breaks and how well you can steer your boat in the moderately swift current. Cost is approximately $10 to launch your own boat at the canoe rental and does not include a ride back upstream to fetch your car. Rental boats are available for $30 to $40.

Scott and I chose the more challenging method of visiting Weeki Wachee Ė paddling from Rogers Park upstream for 6 miles, have a short lunch break near the headsprings and 6 miles back to the park.

Important: At approximately halfway into the trip there are two swim beaches / rest stops that are now closed due to vandalism, littering and human-caused erosion. Since the closure of these two areas, very few places are available to get out and take a break.

During our visit we spotted three otters, including one chasing mullet and another eating his fresh catch. It was quite a sight to see and Scott managed to get it on video. We also spotted one small manatee on the way downstream. He was about 5 feet long and appeared too young to be away from his mom. Even this little guy already had prop marks which makes me wish even more that the upper part of Weeki Wachee was closed to motor boat traffic.

To keep from writing a book about the trip, Iím attaching some photos. Fall colors were incredible and what a great day to be on the river! Write me if you have questions or thoughts on Weeki Wachee Ė send email to floridakayaker@gmail.com.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 12
Fees/Costs $: Free/$2 park


Photos from Weeki Wachee River:    (Click image to view full size)

Weeki Wachee Fall No Comm
Weeki Wachee Fall

Fall comes to the Weeki Wachee River in West-Central Florida. Here you can see the incredible array of colors at a home near Rogers Park.

Weeki Otter and Fish No Comm
Weeki Otter and Fish

A fuzzy photo of an otter enjoying fresh fish for dinner.

Weeki Area Closed No Comm
Weeki Area Closed

Thanks to vandals and litterbugs, the swim beaches (Chassahowitzka access points) are now closed.

Paddling Weeki No Comm
Paddling Weeki

A beautiful fall day for paddling the Weeki Wachee River.

Princess Wonderous No Comm
Princess Wonderous

No, not Scott, Princess Wonderous is the Weeki Wachee tour boat behind him!

Made it Weeki Wachee No Comm
Made it Weeki Wachee

Near the springhead. Scott hailing "WE MADE IT" after a 6 to 6.5 mile upstream paddle on the Weeki Wachee River.

Weeki Wachee Springs No Comm
Weeki Wachee Springs

Approaching Weeki Wachee Springs. The springs are off limits to boat traffic so another 50 yards is about as far as we can go.

Weeki Wachee Otter 1 No Comm
Weeki Wachee Otter 1

Snapped a photo of this otter as he (or she?) was chasing fish near the springhead.

Weeki Wachee Otter 2 No Comm
Weeki Wachee Otter 2

Another photo of an otter just after chasing mullet near Weeki Wachee Springs.

Weeki Wachee Manatee No Comm
Weeki Wachee Manatee

A young, about 5 foot long manatee on the Weeki Wachee River. This poor little guy already had prop marks thanks to some careless motorboater.

Weeki Wachee Fall No Comm
Weeki Wachee Fall

Fall comes to the scenic Weeki Wachee River.

Weeki Wachee Vulture No Comm
Weeki Wachee Vulture

A bad sign - vultures waiting for us near the take-out at Rogers Park. Perhaps they thought we were too tired to put up a fight after 12 to 13 miles.

 


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsSupport the Weeki Wachee mermaids - Get your Annual Pass to Weeki Wachee Springs at http://weekiwachee.com and save their tails!



Post Date: 11/25/2007

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