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Silver River Report
(Ray Wayside Park)


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Report By:  admin    Date: 5/16/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 12 photos     Map & Directions: View


Nothing like bagging two great Ocala spring runs in one day. The morning started at Alexander Springs with Jerry, Len and YakDave. The afternoon finds me paddling solo on the Silver River. It's 3pm. Enough time to make it to the headsprings?

My Report:

Another fine day on the river. Or I should clarify, a fine day on two rivers. The first adventure was Alexander Springs, near the intersection of Hwy 19 and SR 40 in the Ocala national forest. That trip was an easy couple of miles with YakDave, Jerry and Len. We met at the bridge going over Alexander Creek and paddled to the spring and back. A little hiking too.


After lunch, I separated from the group and headed west on SR 40 to the Silver River. It was pushing 3pm. Paid my $5 park entrance and launch fee at Ray Wayside Park and quickly got the kayak on the small channel leading to the Silver River.

I turned my kayak upstream and immediate felt the current, flowing at about 1.5 MPH, pull me back downstream. So paddling upstream at an equivalent of 4 MPH gives a net result of 2.5, which means the paddle up to the headsprings will take two hours, without rests or stops for photography.

Of course, I couldn't resist snapping a few photos - actually more like 100 - so my lallygagging upstream took me about 1.5 hours to reach the canoe launch at the Silver River State Park.

Along the way I spotted a couple of gators and lots of wading birds and fish. Visibility was perfect in the crystal clear water; it's possible to see all the way to the bottom and some part of the river are 25 feet or deeper.

After the state park I paddled maybe another 1/4 mile upstream. Deciding to turn around and slowly make my way back downstream, I floated along, snapping photos.

Came across a troop of monkeys and spotted several little ones with their moms. One monkey was isolated from the group and he sat watching the group, from about 50 feet away.

As I headed back downstream you could tell it was getting close to dinner time. I saw only one set of paddlers coming upstream after me, but several groups heading back to Ray Wayside Park. The motorboats were speeding both up and back, way faster than the NO WAKE zone allows.

The Silver River is one of my favorites and it always seems the trip ends to quickly. There is so much wildlife to see and the river environment is beautiful. If you haven't paddled the Silver make plans to do so soon. You won't be disappointed.

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 7
Fees/Costs $: $5 launch at Rays


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

Idle Speed Restricted
Idle Speed

Silver River State Park sign with emphasis for motorboats. Slow down!

Beautiful Silver Restricted
Beautiful Silver

Now how's that for a freshwater spring?

River Grass Restricted
River Grass

Shot looking into the water at Silver River. Most of the river bottom is covered with grass.

Clear spring run Restricted
Clear spring run

This pic was taken looking through about 8 feet of water. As you can see, it's clear all the way to the bottom.

Silver Canoe Launch Restricted
Silver Canoe Launch

At the canoe launch at Silver River State Park. The canoe launch is about 3 to 3.5 miles upstream from the put-in at Ray Wayside Park.

Red Plants Restricted
Red Plants

I'm including this shot of some red weeds on the Silver River for paddlesolo. :)

Monkey Watching Restricted
Monkey Watching

A canoeist watching the monkeys at Silver River.

Solo Monkey Restricted
Solo Monkey

This guy (I think) was by himself and watching the troop from about 50 feet away.

Solo Monkey 2 Restricted
Solo Monkey 2

Another shot of the same monkey. I was hoping to get better pics but didn't want to get too close.

Confused Cormorant Restricted
Confused Cormorant

This cormorant must have spotted something interesting on his foot.

Night Heron Restricted
Night Heron

A Night Heron at the end of the canal near Ray Wayside Park on the Silver River.

Monkey Business Restricted
Monkey Business

Several moms with babies on the Silver River.

 


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsGotta love the monkeys. No, not the wild Rhesus that inhabit the river banks. I'm talking about the ones in motorboats going too fast on the river. It gets worse as daylight fades. Note to park service: Law enforcement presence would be good.



Post Date: 5/30/2009

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