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Wekiva River Report


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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 3/16/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 16 photos     Map & Directions: View


Upstream from Katies Landing to the Buffalo Tram Campsite and back.

My Report:

I kayaked the Wekiva River from Katies Landing. In my previous Wekiva River Report, I wrote there are 5 Wekiva River trips that I paddle. Today was the up and down the Wekiva trip. I paddled for three hours to the Buffalo Tram campsite, then returned to Katie's. I lolloygaged on the way back, and ended up spending 8 hours on the River.


The gate to Katie's was open when I arrived at 7:45. The brown State Park sign has the hours as 8:00 am to sunset. I was on the water just past 8. In that fifteen minutes I saw great egrets, great blue herons, ibis , osprey and blue herons. All before I got in the water. Nice that it gets light late this time of year.

The Wekiva is broad at Katie's, and gets wider. The east bank has single family homes, the right is the Seminole State Forest. The bird life continued. Dozens of great blue herons and great egrets, along with blue herons, and the occasional tri-colored heron.. About 15 minutes downstream, a small island splits the River. A small spring is on the downriver side of the island. It is hard to see, easier to smell. A sulfur spring. A second sulfur spring is located up a run on the east side of the River just before the State Road 46 Bridge.

Past the Bridge, the Wekiva gets wider. The Seminole State Forest ends, and now both banks have homes. The residences are widely spaced and set back, so they do not detract much from the natural beauty. After an hour of paddling I reached the Wekiva Falls Resort. Yet another sulfur spring. Wekiva Falls was RV camping, canoe rentals, a tour boat. The "Falls" are two concrete towers, from which water was formerly sucked from the River, then released in a fountain. They have long been shut down.

Past Wekiva Falls, the River narrows as it enters Wekiwa Springs State Park. No more houses. My plan was to paddle to Twin Mounds, an Indian mound, or in this case, mounds, then turn back. I hoped I might see a deer or if really lucky, bear. No such luck. I did begin to see alligators as the sun rose in the sky. Some of the alligators were spotted off the main channel. Several long thin islands divide the Wekiva. Some of the side channels can be paddled straight through, others dead end. Twin Mounds is on the west bank of the River, along one of those side channels. The time got to 2 hours, then 2 1/2 hours out. I encountered a party of kayakers who had launched from Wekiva Marina. Looks like I missed Twin Mounds. I knew I missed it when I saw a line of evenly spaced posts in the River. The remants of a "tram", or roadway, built to transport lumber out of the forest one hundred years ago. I was at the Buffalo Tram primitive campsite. No one was camping, so I stopped for a rest, having paddled about 3 hours. I takes me about 2 hours to reach this site coming the other way, form Weikwa Springs State Park. My best guess is I had paddled 6 miles.

As stated earlier, I took my time on the way back. Enjoying the scenery, allowing other paddlers to get ahead of me. Still looking for Twin Mounds. Paddling up a side channel, the bank got higher. I found the mound and landed. There are many middens on the Wekiva and Rock Springs Run, I have located 5 of them. Twin Mounds are the only middens in the Wekiva system to have been researched by archeologists. This was done, in part, to get it on the National Register of Historic Places. I'd wager it is one of the least visited places on the Register. A viewing boardwalk with two interpretative displays is at the end of a long trail thorough the Rock Springs Run State Reserve. Or, a short walk from the Wekiva, if you can find it. Back in the yak, I saw why I missed it on the way upstream. I had to duck under a fallen tree, skoosh over a second, then break thorough a mat of vegetation, before regaining the main channel.

Due to my early start, I saw about 10 boats on the way upstream. A canoe, two small fishing boats, four kayakers, the Falls tour boat, perhaps others. Maybe 25 on the way back, especially as I neared We kiva Falls, their rental canoes were being put to good use. This is on the wide part of the River, so there is no congestion. Wildlife was still abundant, turtles and alligators, green heron, a osprey with landing gear- wait, thats a bass, looking for a place to land. I found my landing back a t Katie's which had quite a few cars and people at 4PM. "Quite a few" is 12-16.

Green Wave Forum now has 2 of the 5 yak Dave Wekiva River trips. Stay tuned for the others.

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Location Data:

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


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

Wekiva River No Comm
Wekiva River

Approaching island with nearby sulfur spring

Limpkin No Comm
Limpkin
Alligators No Comm
Alligators

I saw just the one higher up at first

Wekiva River No Comm
Wekiva River

Buffalo Tram Campsite

Grooming No Comm
Grooming
Alligator No Comm
Alligator

Soak up the sun

Alligator No Comm
Alligator

That's what I call relaxed

Twin Mounds Info No Comm
Twin Mounds Info
Pottery ? No Comm
Pottery ?

I took nothing but pictures

Green Heron No Comm
Green Heron
Wild Iris No Comm
Wild Iris

I think

Wekiva Falls No Comm
Wekiva Falls
Ibis No Comm
Ibis
Ducks No Comm
Ducks
Tri-color No Comm
Tri-color
Reptiles No Comm
Reptiles

I think the turtle could take the gator



Post Date: 3/16/2008

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