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Weeki Wachee River Report

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Report By:  ed    Date: 8/9/2009 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 18 photos     Map & Directions: View

The 20 paddlers from the Florida Paddling Trail Association dodged, darted, twisted and turned our way down the Weeki Wachee River from the headsprings to Rogers Park on this beautiful August afternoon.

My Report:

The Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA) board of directors meet quarterly. Each meeting is held at a new location, typically somewhere on peninsular Florida. This summer's meeting was August 9th/10th at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, about 40 miles north of the Tampa Bay area.

Prior to the board meeting, FPTA members, trail keepers and general public are invited to meet with board members and spend time paddling a local waterway.

Our paddling trip began at the Week Wachee Springs State Park. We were given free access to the canoe launch (normally a $10 put-in fee). Since this was a one-way downriver trip, some of us drove cars to the take-out and Julie Flynt of River Runners Inc provided a ride back to the put-in in her van.

We started at the headsprings about 1:30pm on Sunday afternoon. Much of the trip was spent dodging motorboats, swimmers and other paddlers. Most motorboaters were reasonable but a few ignored the idle speed / no-wake law and blasted their way up and down the river.

Normally when I paddle I like to go slow, take photos and mind my own business.

This trip was an exception as I spotted a family in ski boat going downriver while their young daughter (7 or 8 years old?), with no PFD, being towed along the port side of the boat. Mom was in the boat, leaning over the railing and holding onto the front of the boogie board while daughter was being dragged along side with a terrified look on her face. I caught up to the motorboat and told them what they were doing was irresponsible and could end up killing the girl should she slip off the boogie board and go under the boat and into the prop. Mom reluctantly agreed to pull the girl back into the motorboat.

Please note - if any FWC LEOs, FLA State marine patrol or Hernando deputies are reading this, weekends would be a good time to patrol the Weeki Wachee. There was some discussion about taking up a collection to pay an officer's overtime and expenses to spend a Saturday or Sunday on the river.

Our trip ended at Julie's (River Runners) property near Rogers Park. After loading the boats we drove the 1/4 mile to the Upper Deck Restaurant. Food and company was good and I enjoyed chatting with members of the various paddling clubs and state organizations.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: Free-Normally $10

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

Weeki Mermaids No Comm
Weeki Mermaids

Mermaid statue at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Canoe Launch No Comm
Canoe Launch

Members of FPTA carrying canoes and kayaks at the launch on Weeki Wachee River.

Ric and Hank No Comm
Ric and Hank

Ric and Hank near the canoe launch on Weeki Wachee.

Spring Coast Env Ctr No Comm
Spring Coast Env Ctr

The Spring Coast Environmental Center.

Snorkeling Shoals No Comm
Snorkeling Shoals

A snorkeler tries to make his way up a small set of shoals on the Weeki Wachee River.

Ric at Shoals No Comm
Ric at Shoals

Ric Lovinsky from Mosquito Lagoon Paddlers making is way down the Weeki Wachee.

Upper River No Comm
Upper River

The upper stretch of the Weeki Wachee River has lots of great photo opportunities.

Doug Collecting Cans No Comm
Doug Collecting Cans

Doug Alderson from Florida Greenways and Trails tying a 55 gallon drum (trash) on a kayak.

The beer boat? No Comm
The beer boat?

Mary Morgan of A Crystal River Kayak Co hauling a 55 gallon drum down river. Lots of people asked if that was her beer keg!

Christian Camp No Comm
Christian Camp

Swimmers trying to beat the heat at the Christian Camp.

Collision Course No Comm
Collision Course

Unfortunately there were lots of motorboats on the river. These were the small ones - some were as large as 25 feet.

Human Fountain No Comm
Human Fountain

One of the FPTA members playing human fountain in the Weeki Wachee River.

Pulled to Shore No Comm
Pulled to Shore

Mary and 55 gallon drum being pulled to shore at a rest stop.

Breaktime No Comm

Cooling down and taking a break.

Playtime No Comm

Oh sure, it's all fun and games until someone get squirted in the eye...

Area Closed No Comm
Area Closed

As we pass a closed "beach", Jerrie Lindsey of the FWC explains why the closure was necessary.

Heading Downriver No Comm
Heading Downriver

Group of FPTA paddlers heading downriver.

At the take-out No Comm
At the take-out

Boats at the take-out near Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee River.


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsAfter the paddle we enjoyed an early dinner at the Upper Deck Restaurant across from Rogers Park. Good food and good company was had by all.

Post Date: 8/23/2009

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