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Weeki Wachee River Report

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Report By:  Unknown    Date: 5/10/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 4 photos     Map & Directions: View

Rogers Park to the "No Vessels Beyond This Point" sign, back, past Rogers, to just beyond the Bayport Pier, return to Rogers.

My Report:

For this reporter, the Weeki Wachee River ranks with Juniper Creek (Ocala), Rock Springs Run, and the Silver River as one of the most scenic I have paddled. Even though, unlike the others, its banks are lined with single family homes for the first few miles upstream of Rogers Park. Most of the homes are small, with unique decorations, adding and element of kitsch to the trip. Kitschy Weeki Wachee. (Try that 3x fast)

The Weeki Wachee is a great snorkeling river. Deeper and wider than Juniper and Rock Springs Run, clear for 5 miles. Fewer alligators. Manatees.

Since Ed has described the WW from Rogers Park to the attraction so well, I'll touch on the lower River, from Rogers Park to the Gulf.

Here, the homes are larger, and modern. To avoid most of them, once you pass below the Bridge (watch out for kids jumping from it) look right for a low bridge. You will have to duck under two pipes, but that means craft higher than canoes can't fit. This channel has homes on the south side only, the north is salt marsh and scattered palms.

I took the main channel out to the Gulf. The homes end about a mile out. It is two miles to the Gulf. The last structures are two large green piers on the south bank. A manatee was near the upstream pier. Continue downstream and the Weeki Wachee is joined by Mud Creek. A sign at the confluence marks the end of the Idle Speed No Wake Zone. Another manatee swam upstream just inside the Zone. I informed an approaching boater of its presence. He had slowed down already, before the sign, as a school of rays were flapping in the channel. I went outside the channel, to avoid boat traffic. This can be a problem during low tide, this trip. I had plenty clearance.

As mentioned above, the shore is salt marsh, not the high wooded banks upstream of Rogers Park. Vast areas of low grasses, islands of sabal palms here and there, individual dead trees poking up- great raptor territory. Osprey and bald eagles. A bald eagle soared across the River as I neared the Bayport Pier. I went beyond the pier, circling a small mangrove island , briefly entering the Gulf. Looked for dolphins, saw none. I have seen them in the River. On my return, the tide was coming in. Very nice after 14 miles. Wish I could say I planned it, but just dumb luck. I entered the left channel, the one with the wild north shore. Wild in the channel as well. I've see manatee here on previous, hot day trips. I can add to that this trip. Two were in the area.

I began the report by comparing the Week Wachee with a few other Central Florida locations. I'll add one more. Turkey Creek in Palm Bay. The similarity is both have manatees year round. Here is an extended version of my day, with additional photos

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 16
Fees/Costs $: 2.00

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

Weeki Wachee No Comm
Weeki Wachee

The mandatory kayak on the crystal clear water shot

Turtle No Comm
Ibis No Comm
Manatee Fluke No Comm
Manatee Fluke

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsYakdave never leaves Weeki Wachee with out having the Chef's pasta special at the Upper Deck. Shrimp and Scallops Marsala this time.
There also is new kayak rental business, next to the Upper Deck. Sorry, I don't have their contact info- yet.

Post Date: 5/12/2008

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