Crystal clear springs, natural Florida landscapes, alligators, manatee and mermaids all come together. If you plan on paddling anywhere on Florida's Gulf Coast, make it Weeki Wachee. This place is popular on Saturday / Sunday but weekdays are great!
(WW State Park to Rogers Park) Oh my goodness! This is possibly the best overall paddle I've experienced! I'd recommend it to anyone, from an inexperienced, nervous first timer to the most highly skilled, experienced kayaker I know.
(Weeki Wachee Spring State Park) My last trip to Weeki Wachee was in March 2010. Way past due and I wanted to introduce Andi to the river, complete with manatee, deer, turtles, wading birds and beautiful clear blue/green waters. Also a few photos from our visit to the state park.
This is one of the most spectacular rivers I have been on. I am surprised there has not been a post regarding the cool waters, clear snorkeling, and beautiful Florida landscape in a few years. There are spots to rest and relax, places to jump into the springs, and I decent restaurant for a cold one at the end of your day. If uour looking for a challenge, Start the day early at Rogers Park and head upstream. You will discover all that nature has to offer. When you get to the top turn around and enjoy a relaxing ride down river. Best to go on a weekday, less crowded.
P.D., looks like you have a new favorite. Nice report, but I sometimes I wonder what GPSes are thinking. Seems it put you on a convoluted route. Next time, try I-4 to 408, to the Turnpike,to 50. A straight shot.
seaofcortezgirl: Thanks for the trip report. Yeah, it's too bad the skies can't always be blue and sunny but it looks like you guys had a fantastic time on the Weeki Wachee anyway. That rope swing certainly saw some use!
Chris and I enjoyed our paddle there last year and would like to return. I saw my first ever wild manatee at hospital hole. Last weekend I saw dozens of manatees as well as a bald eagle and many alligators at Wakulla Springs south of Tallahassee.
Thank you Mary Morgan. I've seen that drum my last couple WW paddles. Must have been quite an effort to take it down River. And I was feeling good for picking up a can and two plastic bottles today at the Canavareal National Seashore. A few ounces short of 55 gallons.
Ed, I think the WW is one of the more heavily enforced rivers around. I often see cops. Hernando County even has a jetski. Best use I've ever seen for one of those contraptions
qpax, the spot where you saw the manatees is called "Hospital Hole" Couldn't convince the better half to join them in the sinkhole ? I've done it a few times, including a mid 30's morning last January. The water's fine, getting out can be a bit chilly. Beats a tour boat.
Rogers Park does not have a fee in the post Labor Day pre Memorial Day time frame, or if you arrive before 8 am in the summer. Nice to know the boat ramp is being fixed- it may keep the crowds down. $20.00 to launch, surly service, sheesh. On the other hand, I kind of like it- also keeps the crowds down.
Don't you love a plan? You planned to see Manatees and you did. I recall the first time I saw them on Kings Bay in the 80's. Thought it was like a tank gliding under my canoe. But they have funny little heads.
Nothing beats playing hooky. I'm glad you identified the purple asters. I saw a lot along Juniper Creek last Saturday. Now I know what they are. For some reason I did not notice them when I paddled the WW, Sunday, November 15. Maybe I was watching manatees, or was just daydreaming on the empty River. Yes, empty on a Sunday. Well almost. I love November.
Dave, thanks for the WW update. That was one heck of a trip - 16 miles, especially given the current at Weeki Wachee. I remember doing it a few times from Bayport up to the spring and back. Once was so tired I had to drag the kayak onto the car, unfortunately scratching the paint.
I'm not sure if I want to paddle with you. I would have provided a great falling down picture on my last WW paddle, 1-5-08.
I discovered the "Ramp Slippery When Wet" sign, is true. I slipped carrying the yak to the water. I lay on the ramp for a while. The aftermath of the fall was painful. Left side of my torso, right arm, right leg all hurt. I must have twisted as I fell. Still sore now, 13 hours later. I have a baseball sized bruise on the inside of my left arm.
Weeki Wachee was one of my first paddling experiences in 1998. In those days the canoe rental didn't exist, so if you wanted to see the springs it was a 6.5 mile upriver trip. With a 2-3 MPH current, it took me 3 tries before making it all the way.
Location by ed, last updated on 7/22/2016. It has been viewed 15014 times and has 33 posts.