Alexander Spring Creek

Alexander Spring Creek
Alexander Spring Creek

Brief Overview:

Alexander Springs is a 1st magnitude spring located in Lake County at 49525 County Rd 445, Altoona, FL 32702, (352) 669-3522. The spring, produces 70 million gallons of water daily and is the headwaters to Alexander Spring Creek. The shallow creek winds first SE then NE a total of about 25 miles to the St. Johns River. Much of Alexander Spring Creek, except the first few miles, is often clogged with assorted aquatic plants making paddling difficult. Below the surface amidst the flowing eelgrass are numerous sections covered with hydrilla, and long algae strands

The creek has a moderate to slow flow at the start and is open with no canopy for the first 6.5 miles. The clear, spring-fed water flows through the Alexander Springs Wilderness, bordered with Sabal Palmettos, Cedars, Red Maples, Sweetgum and other hardwood swamp trees. As the creek narrows the current becomes more swift. Numerous birds, to include Herons, Egrets, Moorehens, Anhingas, Osprey and Cormorants can be observed. Turtles and alligators are often observed sunning along the creek.

The Paddle Notes ~ Alexander Spring Creek Gallery ~ Flora and Fauna


Paddle Details:

Location IconLocation: Alexander Springs Creek begins in Alexander Springs Recreational Area, located in Lake County at 49525 County Rd 445, Altoona, FL 32702, (352) 669-3522. 

 

Kayak Launch IconLaunch Point: The launch is located at the Southwest corner of the CR445 bridge. There is no launch fee as this is outside the park. No motorized vessels are allowed upstream from this point. Rentals are available inside the park…there is also a $5.50 day use fee to enter the park. See details…

$16/2 hours
$24/4 hours
$38/day
(+$20 deposit for canoe use).

Take Out Point: The take out point is the same as is this short paddle is an up and back paddle

Distance IconPaddle Distance: Total paddle for this short trip was 2.82 miles total.

 

Duration IconDifficulty: Easy.

 

Duration IconAverage Paddle Speed: 1.88 mph

 

Width Depth iconWidth and Depth: At the launch Alexander Spring Creek is approximately 235′ wide, thinning to 40′ midway and 175′ at the beginning of the spring head. Depth varies from 1′ – 8′ along this stretch

 

Current tidal IconCurrent – Tidal: The creek is spring fed, with the flow light to moderate at the spring due to the width and becomes more swift in the narrower sections.

 

Side Paddle IconSide Paddles: No

 

icon-restroomsRest Areas: Restrooms available at the head spring inside the park.

 

icon-information-lrg-orangeImportant Information: This was a short paddle on the creek. If paddling further downstream, there is little canopy and could be hot.  Also the further downstream, clogs from the numerous aquatic plants could present a problem


The Paddle Route…

Alexander Spring Creek Paddle Map
Alexander Spring Creek Paddle Map

Alexander Spring Creek…

The Launch at Alexander Spring Creek
The Launch at Alexander Spring Creek

It was a partly cloudy morning and 83° at launch. The launch site was very tropical and the clear water had a nice flow. An easy launch with a sandy bottom.

Paddling upstream against the mild current was not difficult and as we passed under the CR 445 bridge, the numerous plants along the shore as well as mid-creek helped minify any effect from the current.

The floating aquatic plants, made up of Water Hyacinth, Spadderdock, Maidencane and Pickerel Weed did not present a problem on this short paddle. The larger island clogs had paths through them that were easily paddled.

Flora and Fauna…

Alligator Lily - hymenocallis palmeri
Alligator Lily – hymenocallis palmeri

Spring was definitely emerging along Alexander Spring Creek. Alligator Lilies, Pickerel Weed, Cardinal Flower and Willows were in bloom. The tress were leafed out in fresh new greens and numerous shrubs along the shore in bloom.

Birds were plentiful on this trip. Blue Herons and Anhingas the most abundant. A few Red Bellied Cooters made an appearance and one small gator was caught peaking just above the surface.

 

 


Alexander Spring…

No Canoes Beyond this Point
No Canoes Beyond this Point

Just before reaching Alexander Spring there is a boil located about mid stream at 29° 4’55.63″N, 81°34’39.64″W. Here the water becomes shallow and there is a buoyed line just ahead preventing boats from enetering the spring.  It is a nice sandy, shallow area to anchor or tie up.

From this rest area, it is a short swim to explore this beautiful spring! We rested, explored and headed back the short distance to the launch site, enjoying a very relaxing and beautiful paddle on the short version of Alexander Spring Creek.


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