(386) 454-0611 riverguide2000@yahoo.com

Suwannee River Spring Hop #2

   SUWANNEE SPRING HOP #2:  Hwy 51 – Mearson Spring      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   There are few places, in Florida or elsewhere, where you can find as many beautiful and unique springs as are found along the middle Suwannee River. On this trip, we’ll visit Telford, Bathtub, Convict, Running, Royal and Mearson springs.   This is a relatively wide section of the Suwannee, averaging 300 – 400 feet across, that flows lazily in long, sweeping curves. Stained dark brown with tannins, much of it having come from the swampy headwaters of the Okefenokee swamp, contrast sharply with sandy white beaches and sloping bluffs. Perched above the river bank and stretching unseen for miles in all directions, mixed forests of pine and oak dominate the setting. It’s a higher, drier terrain than we experience on our “swampier” rivers, with nice, expansive vistas – plenty of Kodak moments.   The width of this section can make it sunny and hot or breezy at times. It’s a fairly long stretch too (about 11 miles) and usually takes us about 4.5 – 5 hours, including swim and lunch stops at the springs.     Wildlife   At this time of year, Middle Suwannee is the stomping grounds (or rather, splashing grounds) of the amazing Gulf sturgeon. Unlike some wildlife encounters, spotting sturgeons takes no skill at all. Just keep your eye trained to the open water...
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...

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...