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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,...