Withlacoochee River (S) Hwy 200 to Hwy 41

Paddling in Fall - WithlacoocheeWe could not pass up the predicted excellent weather and so ventured out on a 12-mile section of the Withlacoochee River (S), launching just north of Hwy 40 at Spruce Public Boat Launch and paddling to Dunnellon to enjoy our reward at The Blue Gator Tiki Bar and Restaurant. Along this Florida Paddle Trail, we enjoyed temperatures in the 70s, sunny skies, an awesome breeze at our back, and a swift current! Couldn’t have been better…James

Durbin Creek – Bartram Canoe Trail

Durbin Creek ReflectionsAnother first for Florida Paddle Notes, Durbin Creek. In an effort to fill in some paddling voids in this northeast section of Florida, and with some suggestions from fellow paddlers, we headed up on this perfect Fall morning and were not disappointed! Due to time restraints, as well as having only one vehicle, we chose to paddle downstream three and a half miles and return for a 7-mile paddle. Going further leads to the numerous houses, a much wider and open creek as well as boat traffic. This was perfect! …James

The Ocklawaha River – Ray Wayside to Gore’s Landing 2020

Paddling the Ocklawaha RiverThe Ocklawaha River is the principal tributary of the St. Johns River. Its main source is Lake Griffin, part of the Harris chain of lakes in Lake County, Florida. The Ocklawaha River watershed includes parts of the Green Swamp, most of Lake County, and portions of Marion, Alachua, and Putnam counties. The key tributary to the Ocklawaha is the Silver River, which originates in Silver Springs, Fl…James

Upper Santa Fe River & Sink

Paddling the Santa Fe River at OlenoThis week, we decided to paddle downstream from our launch at Bible Camp Road and head toward the Santa Fe Sink, located at O’Leno State Park. The sink is where the Santa Fe River goes underground for just over three miles before emerging at River Rise. Access to the sink is blocked at the park, a half-mile upstream, however, the two-mile paddle to the park and back was quite an adventure!…James

Upper Santa Fe River – Olustee Creek

Upper Santa Fe RiverThe last time I paddled the Upper Santa Fe River and Olustee Creek was back in February ( You can read about that paddle here ). The trees were still bare but it was a great first visit to this section of the river. Today Florida Paddle Notes revisited the same route on what started out a beautiful sunny summer day and finished with a typical Florida thunderstorm. A very enjoyable paddle! …James

Juniper Creek – Lower

Approaching Lake GeorgeJuniper Creek, the 7-mile paddle from Juniper Springs Recreation Area to Juniper Wayside ( Hwy 19 ) is always a treat and considered one of the top 25 waterways to paddle in America. That is only a part of this 10-mile creek’s story. Much less talked about, is the second half of Juniper Creek that continues on, past Juniper Wayside and flows another 3 miles to Lake George!…James

Black Creek – North Fork

North Fork Black CreekNorth Fork Black Creek originates as an outflow from Kingsley Lake and flows north and then east through Camp Blanding and Jennings State Forest, meeting South Fork in Middleburg, Florida. North Fork Black Creek has Yellow Water Creek and Big Branch as its main tributaries. The confluence of North Fork Black Creek and South Fork Black Creek 1.25 miles east of Middleburg form the main channel of Black Creek.

Deep Creek

Arched Tree - Deep CreekDeep Creek is a 12-mile creek, originating in the low, agricultural land 6.5 miles southeast of Hastings, Fl. and flowing in a westerly, then northwest, direction, to the St. Johns River. The basic navigable portion of the creek is from the Hwy 207 bridge, just east of Hastings to the St. Johns River. According to the St. Johns River Guidebook, the creek is thought to have been given its name due to its 18 – 20′ depth and was popular with fishermen boating in from the St. Johns River…James

Ocklawaha River – Bear Creek Hwy 19 Loop

Leaving a Shady Rest StopToday we paddled close to home. One of the last remaining sections of the Ocklawaha River, that I have paddled but have yet to document. The entire Ocklawaha River – Bear Creek Loop, which begins at the Hwy 19 Bridge, goes East to the St Johns River, then back up Bear Creek, is about a 10-mile paddle. Today, however, we paddled a 6.5-mile loop, entering Bear Creek 3.5 miles down the Ocklawaha.

Salt Springs

No Name Creek - Salt SpringsOn the north shore of the Salt Springs basin is a wetland area known as Bear Swamp. Today’s side paddle takes us a 1/2 mile east of the launch at Salt Springs Marina and Landing. Here an unnamed tributary flows into Salt Springs Run…James