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Weeki Wachee River Report
(Spring to Rogers Park)


View: More Weeki Wachee River reports, Southwest FL Locations 

Report By:  ed    Date: 3/7/2010 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 15 photos     Map & Directions: View


Anne (MoonlightDesigns) and her friend Stacey invited me to go kayaking at Weeki Wachee. How could I refuse? The weather was going to be warm (in the 60s) and sunny. First time to use the new canoe livery service at the park. Let's see how it goes...

My Report:

Weeki Wachee River. Every time I say I'm going to stay away I find myself drawn back. You would think with six trip postings in the past three years (and probably another three trips not posted), I would get tired of paddling this river.


Frankly, it's just too much of a paddling hot spot to stay away for long. As a huge plus - I'm thinking icing on the cake - I get to paddle here with fantastic people and good friends. Anne (MoonlightDesigns on Green Wave Forum) and Stacey are both.

When Anne and Stacey invited me to go paddling on Sunday, I knew I had to attend. We were to meet at the canoe outfitter mid-morning. I got there a few minutes early and snapped some photos of the springs by peeking over the wall at the amusement park.

Once Anne and Stacey arrived we quickly unloaded at the canoe livery and Anne and I shuttled one car to the take-out at Rogers Park. Next - An easy 6 mile downriver trip on a beautiful day.

The first part of the trip went slowly. We went upstream to the amusement park. A large sign saying NO VESSELS ALLOWED kept us from going further into the park. The current was fairly swift - maybe 2.5 MPH - and the water was crystal clear. We basically floated the entire trip up until the last mile.

Along the way we spotted several pieces of "treasure" in the river. Anne went diving and retrieved a very nice Gasparilla or Marti Gras necklace. I tackled the next one and got one of those thin nylon backpacks that someone might have used to carry bottles of water and lunch. Pirate treasure indeed!

Near the end of our trip (last mile or so) we encountered a few manatee including one mom and calf. It's always a rush to see these magnificent mammals of the deep.

We also encountered some clown on a very large pontoon boat that was doing about twice the no-wake speed limit. Even after yelling at the A$$ to slow down, he said he couldn't and kept on going. After passing us he came within about two feet of hitting a young girl in a sit-on-top kayak. I wish I got his boat registration number.

That was the only bummer of the trip. The take-out was smooth at Rogers Park. No parking or launch fee at this time of year. We loaded up Anne's boats and did the shuttle thing again in the reverse direction to retrieve my car.

Next stop, Bayport Inn for dinner. Anne had fish. Stacey and I, burgers. Everyone agreed the food was good. When the check came Stacey grabbed first and bought dinner for all. Thank you Stacey for dinner and thank you both for a great day on the river.

Get Map & Directions for this trip


Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 6
Fees/Costs $: $5 per boat launch


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

Entrance Station Restricted
Entrance Station

Entrance Station for the main park at Weeki Wachee Springs. The canoe livery is located in the southwest corner of the parking lot.

Weeki Wachee Springs Restricted
Weeki Wachee Springs

A few photos from Weeki Wachee Springs. I took these looking over the wall at the amusement park.

Weeki Springs 2 Restricted
Weeki Springs 2

Floating dock at Weeki Wachee springs.

Weeki Wachee Restricted
Weeki Wachee

Looking toward the mermaid museum at Weeki Wachee Springs.

Upper River Restricted
Upper River

We start paddling the upper river near Weeki Wachee Springs.

Stacey and Anne Restricted
Stacey and Anne

Stacey and Anne near the headsprings at Weeki Wachee.

Park Tour Boat Restricted
Park Tour Boat

Park service tour boat gives guided trips along the first mile or two of Weeki Wachee River.

Stacey Up Close Restricted
Stacey Up Close

Stacey up close - paddling.

Stacey Sideways Restricted
Stacey Sideways

About 1/3 way down river is a small group of rock shoals. I asked Stacey to pull along side them for a photo and she ended up doing a few 360s.

Anne Snorkeling Restricted
Anne Snorkeling

Anne goes snorkeling at Weeki Wachee looking for sunken treasure. Does she find any?

Anne finds Treasure Restricted
Anne finds Treasure

Argh... Pirate treasure matey! Anne finds gemstones (of the plastic variety) in Weeki Wachee River.

Friends Restricted
Friends

Anne and Stacey taking a break on Weeki Wachee River.

Heading Downstream Restricted
Heading Downstream

Paddling downstream on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Area Closed Restricted
Area Closed

One of the former rest stops on Weeki Wachee now closed for several years due to vandalism.

To Rogers Park Restricted
To Rogers Park

Stacey heading toward Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee.

 


Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsService has gone up 100% since the State of Florida has taken over the park and canoe livery at Weeki Wachee. If you used them in the past (pre 2010) and were not happy, give the State a try. Launch fee is $5.00 if you do your own shuttle.



Post Date: 3/9/2010

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