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Alafia River

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The Alafia River is a 25 mile long waterway and part of Florida's Greenways and Trails system. Paddling sections flow from Alderman's Ford County Park to Bell Shoals Bridge near Riverview, with the most popular being Alderman's to Lithia Springs.

Google: Maps Earth  ZIP Code: 33594

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Lynette and her boat
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Reports Alafia RiverLogin to Post   
 Date: 11/19/2009
Rating: Trip Rating
 Miles: 10Photos: 27 
This spring fed stretch of river is shallow and tortuous with intermittent class 1 rapids, based on the water level.

   Read lynette422001's report

 Date: 10/30/2009
Rating: Trip Rating
 Miles: 10Photos: 22 
(Alafia Canoe Rental) MoonlightDesigns (Anne), her boyfriend Wayne and I decide to sneak out Friday morning and go kayaking on the Alafia. Not knowing Hillsborough County had a furlough day, we arrive at Lithia Springs County Park to find the gate locked. Time for Plan B.

   Read ed's report

 Date: 4/5/2007
Rating: Trip Rating
 Miles: 12+
The section of the Alafia River that I paddle flows mostly westward toward Tampa Bay from Aldermans Ford Park to Lithia Spring. It flows about 1/2 mile north of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. until it crosses Lithia Pinecrest and heads due west toward the Bay.

   Read frednick1's report

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Cmt Alafia River CommentsLogin to Post   
Unknown on 11/3/2009 8:47pm
Nice how things worked out for for y'all. I want to find out when the next furlough day is.
I see a bunny rabbit.
paddlesolo on 10/31/2009 1:39pm
Ed: Nice to have an updated trip report about the Alafia. Good photos and I got a good laugh about your threat to Ann. Always the tug between the avid photographers and the"lets just paddle" boaters. You are a photographer also, so she must have been very engrossed in her plant pictures. Many times I have gotten left behind because I was taking pictures and then paddled like crazy to catch up with the group.
paddlesolo on 3/20/2008 7:06am
Loved your description of belly-flopping gators. When I came up on two large gators unexpectedly on Dry Creek, that is exactly what they did. I only saw a blur of movement, and they hit the water so hard that the splash created waves that rocked my canoe. I j didn't try to find out where they went. It was a small, spring-fed clear stream so it is possible I could have seen them swimming. I just kept paddling and had no problems.
Unknown on 3/19/2008 4:47pm
The key is staying in the boat. I also have startled some big gators, but none as big as my 13 foot yak. The gators are leaping into the water in flight, not to bite.
crane on 3/19/2008 1:14pm
I live in Lithia and tried the Alafia for the first time last week. I put in at Lithia Springs and paddled up river in my kayak for about three miles. With the high water, it has a hard paddle against the current. On the way back the kayak was practically flying. While the wildlife on the paddle up consisted mainly of sunbathing turtles and a few Kingfishers, the paddle back produced a completely different experience. Since I was going so fast down river, I was not giving out much of an advance warning of my approach. On two occasions I startled an alligator on the river bank (both were bigger than me). They threw themselves into the water not more than ten feet from my kayak. There is nothing like an enormous alligator doing a belly flop into the river right beside my boat to make me paddle like a mad man.

Question - assuming I stay in the boat and keep paddling, is there any danger from startling an alligator the way I did?
paddlesolo on 1/31/2008 5:11pm
Good report about the Alafia. Nice to read trips posted by new people. I was raised in lower Michigan near Battle Creek. I go to Michigan at least twice a year. Hope to read more about your paddling in the future.
Unknown on 1/31/2008 5:07pm
Thanks for the story, Norm. I've paddled the Alafia once, a short up and back from Lithia Springs Park after spending most of the day on Cockroach Bay- yet another location to add to this site !

Location by frednick1, last updated on 2/13/2010.
It has been viewed 7762 times and has 10 posts.