(386) 454-0611 riverguide2000@yahoo.com

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...

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...

Suwannee River

Suwannee River Kayak & Canoe Tour (Upper River)   Time:  About 3.5 – 4 hours, including a lunch stop. Meeting site:  Suwannee River, about 1.5 hours NW of Gainesville.  Cost:  $50 per person ($39 for “wanna go” members). With your own boat it’s $40 ($29 for members). * NOTE – There is also an additional $2 park entry fee to Suwannee River State Park     Description   On this trip we’ll be paddling the upper Suwannee River from the confluence of Alapaha River to Suwannee River S.P. We begin this trip with a short, ten minute stroll through some very interesting historical sites, representing a few of the more important periods of the Suwannee’s history. Then we hop in the van for a 10 minute shuttle up to the launch site to start our 7.5 mile paddle down the Suwannee.   The plant communities along this part of the Suwannee reflect the higher, drier terrain through which much of the river winds. The combination of high, sandy banks and dark, tannin-stained water, makes aquatic vegetation relatively scarce. But on shore there’s no shortage of greenery. Lanky, coastal plain willows, river birch, and Ogechee tupelos along with a number of sedge and grass species cling to the higher, firmer sand banks.   On top of the bluffs, an unbroken forest of oaks and pines rule the high ground. It’s a fairly remote area and animals such as deer, bobcats, hogs, turkey and an occasional bear come to the waters edge for a drink although sightings are relatively scarce.   Also residing in this stretch of the river are a...

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...

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...

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...