Florida Paddle Notes

Ocklawaha River – Rodman Dam to St. Johns River

The Ocklawaha River

Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River

This is a nice trip. There is plenty of wildlife to see, Gators, Turtles, Herons, Egrets, and Ibis. Along the shoreline, there are numerous Scarlet Rose Mallows, Pink Swamp Mallows, Swamp Lillies, Climbing Asters, and Climbing Hempvine adding color along the way. In early Fall, Maples, Gums, and Cypresses add colorful splashes of red, orange, and yellow. As in all sections of the Ocklawaha River, be aware and look for the downfall. Usually, the crabbers have come in and cleared many of them ahead of time, but keep an eye out! And be aware of the numerous crab trap buoys along the entire route. Be sure to stop at Davenport Landing and enjoy a rest, as well as explore the sites at the top of the bluff…James

Ocklawaha Map - Rodman Dam to St. Johns River
Ocklawaha Map – Rodman Dam to St. Johns River

Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River Notes

icon-location-smLocation: This section of the Ocklawaha River is located between the Rodman ( Kirkpatrick ) Dam, on Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, Fl, and The St. Johns River, 11.3 miles to the east.


Icon Launches smBoat Ramp:

Rodman Boat Ramp
Rodman East Boat Ramp

531 Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, Fl 32177, (352) 236-7143

Located on the southeast corner of Rodman Dam, this is a good stand-alone ramp. There are two concrete ramps in great condition and plenty of paved parking. Restroom facilities are there and there is no fee to launch.

There are no docks.



icon-distance-smDistance: 11.2-miles one way, 22.5 miles round trip


icon-width-depth-smWidth and Depth: The river averages between 85 and 120 wide. The average depth of the channel was around 10′ deep


icon-current-tidal-smCurrent – Tidal: There are no noted springs along this section of the river and depth is controlled by rainfall and Rodman Dam. The current was minimal.


icon-time-duration-smAverage Paddle Speed:  2-3 mph.

icon-restrooms-smRest Areas: Restroom facilities at the launch, Rodman Dam Boat Ramp, but nowhere, except at Davenport Landing.

Davenport Landing

Lower Davenport Landing
Lower Davenport Landing

Davenport Landing is the site of an old riverboat stop as well as an Indian Burial Mound. During the steamboat era, this was the last landing on the Ocklawaha River in the 1800s – 1900s, before it reached the St Johns River. This was the last high bluff on the river and steamboats stocked up on lumber for their boilers and food. The ‘Landing Master‘ was Thomas C. Fillyaw, Confederate Corporal who died in 1873 and was buried at the landing. The burial mound dates back to being up to 1200 years old!

Davenport Landing is recognized from the river, around 4.5 miles, by a low, reinforced wall at the water’s edge to the right of a beautiful Cypress Tree. Remnants of the old landing were covered by the higher water and vegetation. A great place to stop and rest. The water is shallow with a sandy bottom and plenty of space for kayaks. A trip up the bluffs offers an exploration of the Indian Mound and the gravesite of Thomas C. Fillyaw.

Guides, Maps & Info…