(386) 454-0611 riverguide2000@yahoo.com

Ocklawaha River – Below the Dam

We offer 4 guided canoe and kayak trips on the Ocklawaha River: Ocklawaha River: Silver River – Gores Landing (see description below) Ocklawaha River:  Gore’s Landing – Eureka Ocklawaha River: Florida’s Pompeii – The Reservoir (Rodman Dam) Ocklawaha River: Below the Dam Ocklawaha River: Below the Dam Group size: 1 – 24 people. Trip length : 4 – 4.5 hrs. Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description The Ocklawaha is wider here than above the reservoir and much more braided. Many side streams and confusing forks make this an interesting area to explore, but can turn a leisurely paddle into an extreme workout if you make a wrong turn. You won’t want to get to far ahead of the guide on this trip.   Sydney Lanier, a well-known writer of the 1800’s, called the Ocklawaha the “sweetest water-lane in the world, a...

Silver River

Silver River Guided Kayak & Canoe Tour   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 2.5 – 3 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert Cost:  $50 per person. With your own boat it’s $35. NOTE – There are additional park/launch fees of $6 – $10 (varies depending on how many people are in your vehicle. The more people per vehicle, the less your fees).   Description   This river is about 1 hour south of Gainesville, 1.5 hours from Orlando and 1.5 hours from Tampa. As we set off on this 2.5 hour, downstream-only paddle, we first enter onto the river’s large head-spring, the well-named Mammoth Spring. Heading downstream, the first mile of the river carries us past a series of other substantial springs that feed more clear, artesian water from small spring coves along either side.   The channel here is 30 – 40 ft wide and flanked by an unbroken panorama of cypress, ash, gum, red maple and an assortment of other trees and plants. These are an important part of the great Ocklawaha river basin, which this river joins after its 5.5 mile run (just beyond our take-out site).   There are always many water birds, especially near the head spring. Turtles, gators and and other reptiles always keep things interesting, as do my personal favorites, the river otters. The quiet paddler with a searching eye will usually spot one of these stealthy hunters on about 3/4 of our trips.   The most popular animals on Silver River are the Rhesus monkeys  (actually macaques – see below). Even though exotic species are never welcome in natural habitats, its hard not to enjoy watching these interesting, amusing Asian/African primates. It’s not their...

Withlacoochee River (South) #1

Withlacoochee River (south) #1 :  Trails End – Outlet River   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip length: 3.5 – 4 hours Skill level: Intermediate – advanced Cost: This one is $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 per person ($29 for members). The launch site is about 1.5 hour drive south from Gainesville. Description This is a nine mile stretch on relatively quiet waters. We’re usually on the water about 3.5 – 4 hours (including lunch stop in a long abandoned orange grove that still yields lots of  fruit).   The Withlacoochee River has been designated one of the State’s “Outstanding Waterways” and this section is about as outstanding as it gets. The only houses we see for the entire trip are those at the small fish camp at our launch site. I call this the “Trails End” section of the Withlacoochee River, in honor of the Trails End Camp where we launch. Our trip ends about nine miles downstream at Marsh Bend Park on Outlet River (a mile long stream connecting Lake Panasofkee to Withlacoochee River).   For much of it’s hundred mile length, the Withlacoochee carries itself with a subtle beauty that is unlike any other Florida river. The section we’ll be exploring on this trip is one of the finest. Sandwiched between two large wetlands, Wahoo Swamp to the south and the Tsala Apopka wetlands to the north, time and civilization have never stood a chance here.   In addition to being relatively devoid of human enterprise or habitation, this part of the Withlacoochee has a great diversity in appearance, ranging...

Suwannee River Spring Hop #1

SUWANNEE RIVER SPRING HOP #1:  Charles Spring – Hwy 51    Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time: 3 – 4 hours Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike   The meeting place for this trip is on the Suwannee, about 1.5 hours NW of Gainesville.     Description   On this trip, we’ll explore a 9 mile stretch of the Middle Suwannee, starting at one of my favorite spots on the river, Charles Spring and ending about 3.5 hours later at the boat ramp alongside the Hwy 51 Bridge. Along our route, we’ll stop off at Allen Mill Pond spring run and Lafayette Blue Springs. (to avoid confusion, it’s customary to include the county name when referring to any of the State’s many “Blue Springs”).   Most of the middle Suwannee is characterized by a wide, slow flow of tannin-stained water, whose rich, carmel color contrasts beautifully with white sand beaches. In places, the soft, smooth complexion on these dunes is interrupted by outcroppings of rough-hewn limerock. Above the river bank and stretching unseen for miles in all directions, a mixed forests of pine and oak dominate the setting. It’s a higher, drier terrain than we experience on “swampier” rivers such as Ocklawaha and Withlacoochee.   Of course, the main attraction to this part of the river are the springs. On warm days like we’ve been enjoying lately, the clear, 72 degree water of Charles and Blue Springs are hard to resist. But, you won’t have to wait for the springs if you want to swim. Current water levels are low enough to make plenty of good, shallow areas to pull over and wade in.     History   Our launch site...

Rock Springs Run

Rock Springs Run Canoe and Kayak Trip Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time: 4.5 – 5 hours Skill level: Intermediate. The relatively long paddle will be exhausting for some. The winding stream makes this a steering challenge for first-timers. Cost: $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 ($29 for members). Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description From the moment it springs to life, gushing from the throat of a horizontal, above water-line cavern at the base of a 20 ft. limestone bluff, to it’s confluence with Wekiva River 7 miles later, it’s apparent that Rock Springs Run is like no other. But, if I had to make a comparison, I’d say it most closely resembles Juniper. Like Juniper Run, this stream’s cool, clear flow meanders through a lush, semi-tropical forest of cabbage palm, cypress, maple and other...

River Styx

River Styx Kayak Trip Group size: 1 – 14 people Trip time: 5.5 – 6.5 hours Skill level: Intermediate Cost: $75 per person ($60 for “wanna go” members). If you bring your own boat it’s $60 per person. ($50 for “wanna go” members) Difficulty: This is a STRENUOUS TRIP. Many tight squeezes between trees, over fallen logs and through overhanging vines and brush make this more of a push, pull and slog than an actual paddle. This is not for the average, casual paddler. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map  Description Experience the thrill of going where no one in their right mind has gone before. Actually, a lot of clear-thinking, otherwise normal people, venture into this large swamp, fully aware that it is more of a swamp than a river, and that most people who try to traverse it in one day usually spend the night...

Santa Fe River – River Rise

Santa Fe River Canoe and Kayak Trip Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time: 2 – 5 hours (depending which trip we do) Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike. * NOTE – this page is for guided tours only. For information and pricing about unguided paddling on Santa Fe River, please go to the “Santa Fe River Unguided/Shuttle River Trips”  page. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description There are two distinct sections of Santa Fe River. The upper river is a small creek, a brown, watery trail ambling aimlessly through the shaded hardwood forests and intermittent swamps of northern Alachua County. It starts at Santa Fe swamp, just north of Lake Santa Fe near Melrose and extends about 30 miles west to present day O’leno State Park near High Springs. In some places, this little stream can be easily crossed with a running leap. And yet, it...

Ocklawaha River: Florida’s Pompeii – The Rodman Reservoir

We offer 3 guided canoe and kayak trips on the Ocklawaha River: Ocklawaha River: Florida’s Pompeii – The Reservoir (see description below) Ocklawaha River:  Silver  River – Gore’s Landing Ocklawaha River:  Gore’s Landing – Eureka Ocklawaha River: Florida’s Pompeii – Rodman Reservoir Kayak (& Canoe) tours * Adventure Outpost dedicates this trip to the Florida Defenders of the Environment and to the memory Marjorie Harris Carr. Were it not for their passion and devotion to preserving the Ocklawaha, the entire river would look like the section we paddle on this trip. Group size: 1 – 24 people. Trip length : 4 – 4.5 hrs. Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike. Difficulty: This is an easy paddle on slow, tannin-stained waters. There is plenty of water here so you won’t have to pull over any shoals or shallows. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description Every few years, the...

Juniper Run

Juniper Run Kayak (& Canoe) tours Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 4 – 4.5 hours Skill level: Intermediate, narrow winding creek can be a challenge for novices Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description The first mile of this gentle spring run is one of the most magical places in Florida. A thin sheet of crystal clear spring water skims your boat over the white sand bottom (from an ancient sand dune), as you pass through a fantastic sub-tropical forest of palms, hardwoods and lush under story of shrubs, vines, ferns and herbaceous plants. This is Fern Hammock. After a while, the surrounding forest changes, almost imperceptibly, to a higher and drier forest of oaks, hickory and pine. Then, by the time you’ve become used to your new surroundings, the flood plain widens again and the river carries you through an alternating series of...
Santa Fe River Unguided/Shuttle

Santa Fe River Unguided/Shuttle

Every day of the week (except Tuesdays), we offer unguided kayak and canoe trips on Santa Fe River. We also outfit kayak and canoe trips on Ichetucknee River on most week days, between Labor Day and through the fall, winter and spring until Memorial Day Weekend. These unguided trips include boat rental, paddle, vest, and shuttling. All you have to do is show up and we’ll sign you up and put you on the river. Our rental fleet includes a full line of single kayaks, tandem (2-person) kayaks and 2-person canoes. Most of our kayaks are sit-inside models (the most popular typed for inland rivers), but we also have sit-inside kayaks (singles and tandems). And if you prefer to take your river standing, we have SUP’s (aka – stand-up paddleboards) No reservations necessary.  Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, if you get a wild hair to go paddling, just turn your car around and head our way. You don’t need a reservation. However, we strongly suggest that you call before you come. Some days our boats might be all rented out or we might be slammed with a large group, so we don’t want you to make the drive for nothing. So please, do yourself (and us) a favor and call us at (386) 454-0611 and let us know you’re coming and what time you expect to arrive. It will also help if you can tell us how many boats (and what kind) you’ll need. For more information about kayak and canoe rentals, shuttling and unguided paddling on Santa Fe River (including prices and paddle times) please go to the “Unguided river...

Withlacoochee River (South) #2

  Withlacoochee River (S) #2 : The Limpkin Patch   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip length: 3.5 – 4 hours Skill level: Intermediate – advanced Cost: This one is $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 per person ($29 for members). The launch site is about 1.5 hour drive south from Gainesville.   Description   On this easy, out-and-back paddle, we usually cover about 4 – 5 miles of relatively quiet waters. We’re usually on the water about 3 – 3.5. The Withlacoochee River has been designated one of the State’s “Outstanding Waterways” and this section is about as outstanding as it gets. The only houses we see for the entire trip are a few near our launch site.   For much of it’s hundred mile length, the Withlacoochee carries itself with a subtle beauty that is unlike any other Florida river. The section we’ll be exploring on this trip is near the Tsala Apopka wetlands, historically a favorite refuge for Native Americans and currently a refuge for a vast array of wildlife.   In addition to being relatively devoid of human enterprise or habitation, this part of the Withlacoochee has a great diversity in appearance, ranging from relatively narrow channels to broad expanses nearly a half mile wide. The low swamp forests lining the bank are dominated by cypress with a nice mix of gum, ash and red maple.   The river itself alternates between open expanses of water to large areas of marsh. Some of these marshes are in the form of floating mats of water hyacinth, pickerelweed, bur marigold and climbing hemp vine,...

Withlacoochee River (North)

 Withlacoochee River (North) Spring Hop (Kayak and Canoe Tour) Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 4 – 4.5 hours Skill level: Intermediate – Expert The meeting place for this trip is about 1.5 hours northwest of Gainesville on the Suwannee River. Cost: This one is $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 per person ($29 for members). Description On this 9 mile, downstream paddle, We go from Madison County Blue Spring State Park down to the confluence of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. We’ll take out at Suwannee River State Park. This is usually a 4 – 4.5 hour trip (including lunch and swim stops). Like nearby sections of the Suwannee, this part of the Withlacoochee carves a relatively deep (by Florida standards) channel through the Florida highlands region. 30 – 40 foot bluffs are typical and some are even higher. Passing through the Cody Escarpment, the zone where the Central Highlands make their gradual descent to the Gulf Coastal Plains, the river carves it’s way ever closer to the underlying Floridan aquifer. Finally, it cuts deep enough to tap the aquifer and a spring gushes to the surface. Blue Spring is born. From this point on down, more vents in the limestone create more springs – at least half a dozen of them by the time Withlacoochee joins Suwannee. Some of these are small, easy to miss vents in the river bed, while others are nothing short of azure oases to the passing paddler.   . Difficulty This is an easy, downstream paddle. The hot weather should be your main consideration. It’s a fairly wide channel that could be sunny and...

Weeki Wachee River

 Weeki Wachee Kayak and Canoe Tour   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5 – 4 hours Skill level: Intermediate – Expert This river is about 2 hours south of Gainesville, 1 hour north of St. Pete and 1.5 hours west of Orlando.     Description   This is one of the most beautiful spring runs in Florida, easily ranking with Ichetucknee and Silver. It’s also one of the most diverse. Between the head spring and its entry into the Gulf of Mexico, this gentle stream passes through high banked scrub, Hydric forest, low swamp and a few small freshwater marshes. Most of our Weeki Wachee tours end a couple of miles before the salt marshes and open Gulf. Even so, most of the water we paddle is influenced by the tides. While it never reverses flow like Waccasassa, it’s flow rate fluctuates dramatically. One advantage to starting at the headspring, is that it allows us to see the open, freshwater marsh community that dominates the first mile of the river. This is where we see the most wildlife, such as egrets, herons and cormorants.  A very unique element of this first stretch is the presence of pelicans. They, along with their woodstork buddies, have a strong affinity for this area. Behind the marsh vegetation, on both sides, the river bank rises sharply, reaching 25 to 30 feet in some places. These sandy white bluffs are relict dunes and, as with the ancient dunes we encounter on other trips, these are topped by open, dry scrub habitat. Those familiar with this increasingly rare habitat will recognize the lanky, widely spaced sand pines that...

Wakulla River

Wakulla River Kayak and Canoe Tour   Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3 – 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner (in good physical condition) – Expert   Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark.     Description   We’re usually on the water about 3.5 – 4 hours. With a flow rate that varies from 300,000 to nearly a billion gallons per day, Wakulla ranks as one of the largest (and perhaps most variable) springs in the world (rivaling Silver Springs, where the maximum flow has never been as great as Wakulla’s maximum, but the daily average is greater). With its rich, colorful history, especially at the old fort ruins where our trip ends, Wakulla ranks as one of the all-stars of Florida’s spring rivers.   Come here during warm months from April through November and you might spot some manatees. In the past, they all moved southeastward in the fall to spend winter in...

Waccasassa River

WACCASASSA/WEKIVA RIVER KAYAK AND CANOE TOUR Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Trip description   On this trip we’ll be exploring a couple of the finest waterways on the Gulf coast, the Waccasassa and Wekiva Rivers. At first glance, there’s nothing to tell the casual paddler that Waccasassa River is born of the beautiful Levy Blue spring near Bronson. The tannin stained water speaks more of the Devil’s Hammock swamp, through which it passes, than the artesian fountain at its head. Blue Spring is a popular watering hole that draws scores of locals on warm summer weekends. The Wekiva, too, is spring-fed. Like it’s sister river, the refreshing waters at it’s source can be enjoyed for a price, but not for recreation – for consumption. A Japanese, bottled-water company bought the spring about 20 years ago and...

Steinhatchee River

Steinhatchee River kayak & canoe Tour Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5  – 4 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert. (This is an easy paddle on slow, tannin-stained waters. The open waters of the last mile can get choppy in wind, but that section is relatively close to our take-out site Cost: $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 ($29 for members).   Description This is a 5 mile trip which usually takes us about 3 hours to paddle. We will be going down stream (WITH the current) for the whole trip. Steinhatchee River doesn’t get much press. And for the local residents who make their living harvesting the incredible bounty of these waters, that’s just fine. On those rare occasions when this remote little river is mentioned in Florida’s “big city” newspapers, it’s usually in reference to seafood or those who catch it. No surprise there. With lush, inshore grass beds, teaming with fat, blue-eyed scallops and juvenile fish, along with excellent offshore fishing sites, Steinhatchee is becoming a Mecca for commercial and sports fishermen alike.   Upstream from most of the boat activity, inland from the small, sister communities of Jena and Steinhatchee at the river’s mouth, there is another, lesser known Steinhatchee. Like several of the other Gulf area rivers we explore (such as Waccasassa and Wekiva), Steinhatchee is a mongrel with mixed parentage. Her most distal headwaters begin in a couple of huge wetlands, Mallory Swamp and San Pedro Bay. After meandering through the swamps for nearly twenty miles, a network of braided channels slowly take form and...

St. Johns River: Bartram’s Battle Lagoon

St. Johns River: Bartram’s Battle Lagoon Kayak (& Canoe) Tour Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time:  Short: (Battle Lagoon & Bartrams camp site),  3 hours.                    Long: (above plus 1/2 Alexander Spring Run, 6 – 6.5 hours Skill level: Suitable for intermediate and expert paddlers. Your main concern here is strength and endurance. Six hours of paddling can be tiring for some, even though we’ll stop a couple of times along the way. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description This trip is part of our “Wild Florida Chronicles” series, in which we visit some natural areas described by early naturalists and explorers. Some of these places have changed considerably, while others would probably be recognized by chroniclers from a couple of hundred years ago. We do two versions of this tour. The shorter tour lasts about 2.5 – 3 hours...

Rainbow River

Rainbow River Kayak (& Canoe) Tour Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map   Description The primary source of this beautiful 5.7 mile river (formerly known as Blue Run) is Rainbow Spring (formerly Blue Spring). As it makes it’s way southward toward it’s confluence with the Withlacoochee River, the river picks up additional water from a number of smaller springs – most notably Garfish Hole about a mile below the head spring. This 24 ft. deep spring has, in recent years, picked up the nickname, K.P. Hole (for the Knights of Pythias who used to have annual gatherings here). Nearby, a beautiful, dense, bottomland forest extending toward the north east follows the small trickle of a run from Indian spring. Situated in the sandy, rolling highlands of the Brooksville Ridge, Rainbow spring run...

Prairie Creek

Prairie Creek Kayak and Canoe Tour  Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 2.5 – 3 hours Skill level: Intermediate – Expert Cost: $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). If you bring your own boat it’s $40 per person. ($29 for “wanna go” members)   Description  Located about 20 minutes east of Gainesville, Prairie Creek connects two of North Central Florida’s most popular havens for wildlife watching, Newnans Lake and Paynes Prairie. So, it’s no surprise that a paddle down this winding, dark-water, creek offers a variety of plants and animals. We usually see a number of water birds, and if you watch closely, you’ll probably spot a few turtles sunning on logs and branches debris on the riverbank. We begin this journey on Newnans Lake. The dense marsh thickets that sprouted during droughts a few years ago are still thriving, as is the abundant wildlife that loves such places. Around the edges of these marshes, American lotus plants are at the tail end of their bloom. While many are still displaying their showy yellow flowers, most are sporting the odd looking seed heads that are commonly seen in flower arrangements.   As your boat glides into the mouth of Prairie Creek, you’ll realize you’ve discovered one of Gainesville’s least-known natural treasures. For most of it’s run, Prairie Creek courses through a mature forest of mixed hardwoods and cypress which form a dense, closed canopy overhead. Most years, seasonal rains cause the creek to brim and spill over the low, sandy banks into the forest. This keeps the understory relatively free of vegetation and allows good viewing into the forest. As our journey carries us closer to...

Paynes Prairie History Hike

Paynes Prairie History Hike Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 2 – 3 hours Skill level: Great for anyone capable of a 3 – 4 mile hike. (Shorter hikes and wheelchair accessible routes also available. Cost: $20 per person Dates: Check the calendar for dates. If the date you want to hike is open on the calendar, let us know (at least 2 weeks in advance) and we’ll schedule it. E-mail us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386) 454-0611.   Description Paynes Prairie is a large, 20 square mile basin formed by dissolution and collapse of underground limestone. This is the same process that forms the many sinkholes in this part of Florida. It’s also the process that forms most of our local lakes, but what makes the Prairie different is that there’s a hole in the bottom. At the northern edge of the Prairie basin, a hole in the limestone bottom known as Alachua Sink, drains water into the underground aquifer system. It’s a relatively small hole however, perhaps the size of a small car, so it takes a long time to drain the basin when it floods. This constant dampness – rarely dry and only occasionally flooded – has created a fantastic marshland. This hike starts with a brief, 10 minute discussion of the Prairie’s early history (12,000 years of history in 15 minutes – I’ll talk fast!). We then set of into the Prairie. When we reach the observation deck in the center of the Prairie, we’ll see what animals we can spot. There, surrounded by the sights, sounds and scents of the Prairie, I’ll spend another 10 –...

Olustee Creek

Olustee Creek Canoe and Kayak Trip Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time:  4 hours Skill level: This is an easy, out-and-back paddle on quiet waters, suitable for all skill levels. Cost: $$50 per person. With your own boat it’s $35. Dates: Check the calendar for dates. If the date you want to paddle is open on the calendar, let us know (at least 2 weeks in advance) and we’ll schedule it. E-mail us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386) 454-0611 Description Explore the upper reaches of the Santa Fe River watershed to the confluence of Olustee Creek, one of the rivers main feeders. It’s a small, winding, high-banked creek which will not appeal to those interested in wetland communities and/or easy paddle trips. We usually don’t go far up Olustee, especially in low water, but for those who don’t mind having to pull their boat over a few fallen logs, there’s the possibility of seeing wood ducks, deer, beaver, otter, and even a few capybara?! Wildlife Compared to some of our trips, wildlife is relatively scarce here. There’s a fair population of deer in this area, but high banks discourage them from spending much time at the riverside. There are some ‘gators – especially one sizable fellow whose lair is in the area near the confluence of Olustee Creek and the Santa Fe. Many people have gotten wet – falling out of their boat or otherwise – when they surprised him sunning on his favorite, high sand bank. There is, however, one animal of special interest in this region. Capybaras have escaped into the wild reaches of the upper Santa Fe and lower...

Ocklawaha River Gore’s Landing – Eureka

We offer 3 guided canoe and kayak trips on the Ocklawaha River: Ocklawaha River: Gore’s Landing – Eureka (see description below) Ocklawaha River:  Silver  River – Gore’s Landing Florida’s Pompeii – The Reservoir (Rodman Dam) Ocklawaha River: Gore’s Landing – Eureka Canoe and Kayak trip Group size: 1 – 24 people. Trip length : 4 – 4.5 hrs. Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike. Difficulty: This is easy flowing water with few (if any) obstacles. And it’s all downstream. Novices will not have a problem. The main consideration is your endurance. For some, 3 – 4 hours of paddling can be tiring. But, it’s all downstream and, as many of you know, we encourage paddlers to take their time to enjoy the surroundings. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description This is the Ocklawaha which Florida’s noted author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, knew and loved. And it’s...

Newnans Lake

Newnans Lake Kayak (& Canoe) tours Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip length: 3 – 4 hours Skill level: Beginner Difficulty: The shallow water may require an occasional scooch or pry, but you shouldn’t have to get out of your boat. Once we’ve passed the initial shallow area, the rest of the trip has plenty of water. Winds can be brisk on the open lake, but the tall marsh vegetation should give good protection. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description Located only a few miles northeast of Paynes Prairie, this lake shares much of the amazing cultural and natural history of the famous prairie. The archaeological record shows that this area was a favorite hunting ground for the first nomadic paleo-Indians and later, was the site of several important settlements as then Indian cultures became more complex and stationary. Running along the lake’s eastern shore,...

Ichetucknee River

Ichetucknee River Kayak and Canoe tours We offer several options for paddling the Ichetucknee River. We have a Short trip (2 hours), a Longer trip (4-5 hours) and also unguided/rental canoe or kayak trips with a shuttle. Short trip: (Head spring to Hwy 27 bridge) Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 2 hours Skill level: beginner – expert Long trip: (Head spring to Hwy 129 on the Santa Fe river) Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 4 – 5 hours Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description Ichetucknee is perhaps one of the most famous rivers in north Florida. When you see it you’ll understand why. The entire six mile river is composed of crystal clear water which boils to the surface through nine named springs (in addition to a number of smaller unnamed ones). On it’s...

Hontoon Island

Hontoon Island Kayak (& Canoe) Tour Group size: 1 – 24 Trip time: 4.5 – 5 hours Skill level: Intermediate, narrow winding creek can be a challenge for novices Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description This is the only trip where we visit two State Parks in one day. On this trip we explore the many faces of Hontoon Island, an interesting, 1650 acre island of pine flatwoods and hardwood hammock nestled within a broad ring of wetlands – mostly cypress swamps. We’ll begin by coasting the islands west face, where it fronts a quiet backwater called Hontoon Dead River (the St. Johns basin is loaded with “dead” rivers, a handle alluding to the fact that, unlike some side channels, these do not reconnect to the main channel. Apparently, the namers weren’t paddlers. To us, there’s nothing more vibrantly alive than these “dead” rivers! 🙂 Easing southward,...

Homosassa River

Homosassa River Kayak (& Canoe) Tour Group size: 1 – 24 Trip time: 3-3.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – pro. The open channel can become a bit challenging when the wind kicks up. Otherwise, it’s a breeze ) Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description The route of this trip depends on the time of year. Winter excursions on the Homosassa are all about manatees, and since they always head for the head-springs, so do we. This makes for a round trip paddle, upstream and back. It’s a nice stretch of river, but very developed–especially on the north bank. But, where the Lady (Mother Nature) maintains her ancestral claim, a lush, semi-tropical forest crowds the shoreline. The main head-spring is within Homosassa State Park and out of bounds for us. But we do get close and usually see plenty of manatees. Our summer excursions on the Homosassa take...
Deep Creek

Deep Creek

Deep Creek Kayak (& Canoe) Tour Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time: 4 – 4.5 hours Skill level: Beginner – Expert. (This is an easy paddle on slow, tannin-stained waters. The open waters of the lakes can get choppy in wind, but we are never very far from the protected channel of the creek.) Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map   This river is about 1 hour east of Gainesville near Hastings (between Palatka and St. Augustine).  A quiet moment on Deep Creek   Description On this will be a round-trip (out-and-back) paddle, we’ll explore one of the more scenic and undeveloped side streams in the lower St. Johns River basin. Our total route is about 8 miles, so we’ll be on the water 4 – 4.5 hours.   There is little current on this stream, which makes it suitable for all skill levels. Being...

Ichetucknee River Unguided/Shuttle

From Labor Day weekend to Memorial Day weekend (Fall, winter and spring) we offer rentals and shuttling for unguided paddle trips on Ichetucknee. This option is not available every day, so please call in advance to let us know what day(s) you plan on going and we’ll discuss the possibilities. These prices are for unguided paddle trips only. For information on guided tour please go to “Ichetucknee River” page.                                                                     Kayak               Tandem                   Canoe Head Spring – Hwy 27 (2 hrs) ……..…..   $ 25   …………     $ 35   ……..………   $ 35 * This is offered in the Winter only. Hwy 129 on Santa Fe R (5 hrs)   ………   $ 35   …………     $ 45   ……..………   $ 45 * Reservations Required. Call (386) 454-0611, use our contact form or e-mail: riverguide2000@yahoo.com to check availability and to discuss your options.   Serenity...

Ocklawaha River – Silver River – Gores Landing

We offer 3 guided canoe and kayak trips on the Ocklawaha River: Ocklawaha River: Silver River – Gores Landing (see description below) Ocklawaha River:  Gore’s Landing – Eureka Ocklawaha River: Florida’s Pompeii – The Reservoir (Rodman Dam) Ocklawaha River: Silver Riv – Gores Landing Kayak (& Canoe) tours Group size: 1 – 24 people. Trip length : 4 – 4.5 hrs. Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike. Cost Most guided tours are $50 per person. (includes boat, paddle, vest, shuttling and your guide) Using your Own Boat – $40. (many paddlers with their own boats like to join us to learn more about the history, archaeology and natural history of these rivers). Dates Join a scheduled tour (see tour calendar ), or suggest one.  Find a free date on the calendar and suggest the trip of your choice. If there are no conflicts, we’ll post it! OR Schedule a private tour. Use contact form, email us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386-454-0611) Location Check the River Locator Map or Click the link below for a local map and then use zoom and panning arrows to explore the area. (Note: the marker is NOT our meeting place, but a nearby landmark. Local Map Description This trip begins with a brief, fifteen minute float down the Silver river to it’s confluence with the Ocklawaha. Here, as the Silver’s cold, clear water blends with the warm, tannin stained waters of the Ocklawaha, the significance of the huge spring run to the Ocklawaha system is apparent. The change is so abrupt that you can hang your hands off each side of your boat and feel water that’s too warm for a...