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Weeki Wachee River Report
(Rogers Park)

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Report By:  ed    Date: 10/11/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 10 photos     Map & Directions: View

Did a little exploring on this trip and took a path less traveled. Paddled upsteam from Rogers Park to a canal leading north to Cortez Blvd. Followed it to a housing development before calling it quits and returning to the main channel of the river.

My Report:

Let's see, where is a good place to start this trip report? How about at noon, which is when I finally got out of the house and on the road. Luckily Weeki Wachee River is only 20 miles north of where I live so it doesn't take long before I'm on the water.

When I arrived at Rogers Park (the most convenient put-in on the Weeki Wachee), I noticed there were a lot less cars and people than usual. I wonder if the economy is keeping more people at home or maybe they were all headed to the Ray's game this evening. Anyway, I quickly loaded up and started paddling upstream.

Again, I was surprised as not too many people coming down the river. Usually the canoe rental at the headsprings dumps hundreds of people on the water on weekends and sometimes it feels like a salmon swimming upstream against the current of canoes and kayaks heading one-way toward Rogers Park.

One of the first wide areas you'll pass going upriver from Rogers Park is called "Hospital Hole". There were a couple of SCUBA divers there and I stopped and talked with them. One guy said they descended to 140 feet for 20 minutes, requiring decompression stops on the way up. He also mentioned they were commercial divers and warned not to try this without extensive experience.

I ask about the dive and was told an opening lies about 20 feet below the surface of the water and after swimming through a crack the cavern opens up in a bell shape and goes down to 140 feet. He also mentioned there are several thermoclines and a layer of hydrogen sulfide that you have to pass through on the way to the bottom. Sounds like fun and I'm glad I learned more about Hospital Hole today.

Back to paddling... As I made it past the first set of houses, I noticed the long straight canal leading north. Now I've passed this many a time and even took it for a few hundred yards. For some reason I decided to follow it today to wherever it took me, which was about one mile straight north to Cortez Blvd. The water was crystal clear the whole way until near the end, and the canal terminates at a housing area. I'm guessing there must be a spring somewhere nearby to keep the water clear, but wasn’t able to find it, if one exists.

After paddling back to the main river, I continued up Weeki Wachee for about 1.5 miles before deciding to return to Rogers Park. Spotted a number of birds and one manatee that was swimming upstream. A few leaves were falling from the trees and in about another month we should start to see some fall foliage.

Total trip was about 5 miles (I'm guessing as I didn't run the GPS the whole way). The GPS coordinate that accompanies this report is for the end of the canal, not Rogers Park.

All in all, it was a nice afternoon on the water and I look foward to my next trip on the Weeki Wachee River.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 5
Fees/Costs $: Free

Photos from Rogers Park:    (Click image to view full size)

Rogers Park No Comm
Rogers Park

Uncrowded swim beach at Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee River.

Hospital Hole No Comm
Hospital Hole

Hospital Hole is a submerged sink located in the third bend upstream from Rodgers Park in the Weeki Wachee River.

US Flag on Weeki No Comm
US Flag on Weeki

Nice to see the homeowner is patriotic and shares his support for the country with us paddlers.

Tree Canopy No Comm
Tree Canopy

The lower part of Weeki Wachee has some very nice tree canopies over the river.

Cortez Canal No Comm
Cortez Canal

Heading toward 'the light' on a canal leading to Cortez Blvd.

Leafy Things No Comm
Leafy Things

Thought you might like to see a close-up.

Little Blue Heron No Comm
Little Blue Heron

Spotted this little blue heron near houses at the end of the canal.

Weeki Wachee River No Comm
Weeki Wachee River

It's hard not to take 100s of photos of this river...

River / Boat Pic No Comm
River / Boat Pic

The Weeki Wachee is simply photogenic!

My favorite house No Comm
My favorite house

They have repainted my favorite house on the Weeki Wachee. Like the new colors!

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsAdmission and parking at Rogers Park is $2 during summer season. The park features boat ramp, canoe launch, swimming area, showers, restrooms, picnic tables, playground and barbecue grills.

Post Date: 10/11/2008

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