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Rainbow River Report


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Report By:  gpax    Date: 4/9/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 60 photos     Map & Directions: View


Used Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak shuttle to KP Hole County Park. Paddled up stream to Rainbow Springs State Park. Paddled and snorkeled back downstream. Took out in Dunnellon on Withlacoochee River at Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak.

My Report:

Chris and I were hoping to stay at Rainbow Springs State Park but the campground is closed until May. We did some searching and came up with Nathan at Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak as a shuttle service. We parked at his shop in Dunnellon, shuttled up river and paddled back to it. He charged $10 per kayak. Plus we paid $3 to use the boat ramp at KP Hole County Park and $1 to use the canoe ramp at Rainbow Springs State Park.


Rainbow River is beautiful. The water is crystal clear spring fed by numerous springs starting with the head spring at Rainbow Springs State Park. Houses are numerous along the river but so is wildlife. You can see from our photos. The river is a tubing and canoing mecca in the summer. Even on a Friday morning in April we were hardly ever out of sight of other people.

KP Hole is a well kept county park. We launched and paddled upstream into a relative slow current. Chris was on her second voyage in her new Tarpon120 sit on top and I was back in my Redfish14. We were in awe as sightseers paddling upstream. Not far upstream we passed a new state park ramp on the East bank.

At one point we passed a middle aged swimmer wearing swim goggles and speedos who was just swimming the crawl down the middle of the river like he was in a training pool. We saw many boats with dive flags out.

My first impression is that the Rainbow River could have been named either the Comarant River or the Turtle River. The water was crystal clear and full of fish. Just outside the park we saw numerous gar under our kayaks that had to be nearly five feet long. Springs were visible all along the river.

Reaching the state park we paid $1 each to go ashore at the canoe launch. We gathered up our snorkeling gear and headed for the swim area. The water temperature was borderline uncomfortable so we both pulled on wetsuits and checked out our gear. Chris took off her wetsuit because she was too warm.

We ate our lunch at the park.

After lunch we started downstream. By this time there were lots of boats out. Several pontoon boats brought snorkelers up river to the edge of the park.

We were looking for a shallow place for Chris to get off her boat to snorkel. As she reached toward a tree trunk she let out a scream. A very large snake was laying up in the tree. I went over to get a picture but never did see its head. I rolled out of my kayak keeping the painter in my hand and snorkeled down to the new park ramp. Chris got out there and went for a swim.

We stopped to use the restrooms at KP Hole Park. From there to Dunnellon we were always in the company of other boats. Three people were floating down on pool floats with one person in snorkel gear with a dive flag pulling them. We saw many dive flags out.

A couple of miles downstream we found four cute otters swimming along the bank. They appeared to be eating something. I stayed with them for several minutes and took several pictures. We also saw several wading birds as well as what appeared to be a comarant rookery. The mother bird was feeding her rather large children as we passed.

We passed the Hwy 484 bridge with tuber signs directing tubers to exit the river there. Just before the bridge was some sort of business catering to boaters and tubers with the slogan, "No shoes, no shirt, no problem!"

We could tell when we reached the Withlacoochee because the water turned from clear to dark. A short distance down river we passed a river park on the right with families in canoes giving the children a run in the park. Not far from there we found our exit to Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak where our car was waiting.

We did find a good american food restaurant in Dunnellon: The Front Porch Restaurant & Pie Shop. The pie is to die for.

We returned to Crystal River but passed our quarters at the Plantation Inn in Crystal River and continued out 44 to the park at the end to watch sunset. We were not disappointed.

Get Map & Directions for this trip


Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 8
Fees/Costs $: $14 each


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

RR Canoe & Kayak No Comm
RR Canoe & Kayak

We used a shuttle service to take us upstream.

KP Hole County Park No Comm
KP Hole County Park

We used a shuttle service to take us upstream. We put in at KP Hole County Park.

Rainbow River No Comm
Rainbow River

The river is beautiful.

No wake sign No Comm
No wake sign

The river is beautiful.

RS State Park limits No Comm
RS State Park limits

The river is beautiful.

Families Paddling No Comm
Families Paddling

The river is beautiful.

RS State Park ramp No Comm
RS State Park ramp

The river is beautiful.

RS State Park ramp No Comm
RS State Park ramp

The river is beautiful.

RS swim area No Comm
RS swim area

The river is beautiful.

RS State Park No Comm
RS State Park

Chris exploring the park.

Turtles No Comm
Turtles

The river was full of turtles

White heron flying No Comm
White heron flying

The river was beautiful

White heron flying No Comm
White heron flying

The river was beautiful

Turtles No Comm
Turtles

The river was beautiful

Turtles No Comm
Turtles

The river was beautiful

Turtles No Comm
Turtles

The river was beautiful

Turtles No Comm
Turtles

The river was beautiful

Hobie pedal drive No Comm
Hobie pedal drive

The river was beautiful

Large gar No Comm
Large gar

The river was beautiful

Snake in Tree No Comm
Snake in Tree

Rather large snake in the tree that frightened Chris.

Heron wading No Comm
Heron wading

Beautiful river

Pontoon boats No Comm
Pontoon boats

Beautiful river

Comarant No Comm
Comarant

Beautiful river

Comarant No Comm
Comarant

Beautiful river

RS State Park ramp No Comm
RS State Park ramp

Beautiful river

gpax snorkels No Comm
gpax snorkels

Beautiful river

Chris swims No Comm
Chris swims

Beautiful river

Chris snorkels No Comm
Chris snorkels

Beautiful river

Bird No Comm
Bird

Beautiful river

Pool inflatables No Comm
Pool inflatables

Snorkeler pulls pool inflatables with people in them.

Houses along banks No Comm
Houses along banks

Chris takes some pictures of houses along the river banks.

Cypress Trees No Comm
Cypress Trees

Beautiful river

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Otter family No Comm
Otter family

Four otters look like they are playing but they may be eating. I took several pictures.

Comarant No Comm
Comarant

Comarant dries its wings

Wrong bridge No Comm
Wrong bridge

We were told not to make a wrong turn under this bridge

Mother bird No Comm
Mother bird

Mother bird feeds children

Rainbow River No Comm
Rainbow River

Beautiful river

Now serving No Comm
Now serving

No shoes, no shirt, no problem!

KP Hole County Park No Comm
KP Hole County Park

Beautiful River

Dive flag on canoe No Comm
Dive flag on canoe

Beautiful River

Clear water No Comm
Clear water

Beautiful River

Clear water No Comm
Clear water

Beautiful River

Cypress Tree No Comm
Cypress Tree

Beautiful River

484 bridge No Comm
484 bridge

Beautiful River

Tubers keep left No Comm
Tubers keep left

484 bridge

484 take out No Comm
484 take out

484 bridge

Mouth of river No Comm
Mouth of river

Sign at the mouth of Rainbow River

Mouth of river No Comm
Mouth of river

Sign at the mouth of Rainbow River

Withlacoochee River No Comm
Withlacoochee River

Birds on the Withlacoochee

Dunnellon No Comm
Dunnellon

Park in Dunnellon

Back No Comm
Back

Back to Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak

Sunset No Comm
Sunset

Sunset in Crystal River

 


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsRainbow River Canoe and Kayak 352-489-7854
Rainbow Springs State Park 352-465-8555
KP Hole County Park [Marion] 352-489-3055
Front Porch Restaurant & Pie Shop
Us Highway 41 S
Dunnellon, FL 34430
352-489-4708

&l~



Post Date: 4/16/2009

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