Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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Kayaking the WekiVA from WekiWA

Thursday March 31, 2016                                                   Most Recent Posts:
Wekiwa Springs State Park                                                
Another Beautiful Florida Springs State Park
Apopka, Florida                                                                 My Kayak Lament – Final Hikes at Silver Springs





It is really confusing around here with the different spellings of the spring – Wekiwa and the river – Wekiva.  I’ve asked around  and everyone agrees that it’s a mess but no one really knows why.  I looked it up on that infallible source, the internet, and found one story about Native American words for boiling water and flowing water but historians apparently have disproved that since local tribes had no V sound in their language.  The historians seem to agree that it was the developers who messed everything up when they didn’t like the sound of WekiWA.   Whatever…….it does get confusing.  To get to WekiWA Springs State Park you take WekiVA Springs road.  sheesh!

Today we go down to the boat dock in WekiWA Springs State Park to launch our boats into the WekiWA Springs Run to kayak the WekiVA River.

But we go one at a time. Me earlier.  Him later.


I’m out on the water at sunrise. The park isn’t open yet.  I’m the only person around.  This is the way I love to kayak. 




There is a low mist on the water.






The white hot blaze in the sky bleaches the colors.  This makes it difficult for me to be sure I see what I think I see and even more difficult to get pictures of the otters crossing back and forth in front of my boat and hissing at me.  My camera can’t find them in the mist and when it does, they are gone.  These are just simply terrible pictures but they are all I have and it was so exciting and so wonderful to paddle around with them even if I did make them mad.  Sorry guys you are just too terrific!  So for my memory…….a few terrible pictures.



I float on down the river.  The spring run is slow as you can see from the minor ripples along side my boat.



What a great morning.  I float by several Green Herons.  This one along the water doesn’t move at all until I’ve passed him and then he takes off only to land further down stream where I pass him again.





The Wekiwa Spring Run is slightly less than a mile before it meets the Rock Spring Run which empties into it and the pace picks up…………..slightly.  




There’s the turn if you want to paddle up the Rock Springs run.  That’s on my agenda, but not for this morning.  Rock Spring Run and the Wekiwa Spring Run come together to form the Wekiva River at this point.  Both Spring Runs and the River are part of a 27 mile designated Florida Canoe Trail.  There are primative campsites along the way if you want to make a multiple day paddle which I would really love to do if I could get myself organized enough. 



Not too far beyond the confluence of the Spring Runs the river goes under a bridge and comes to a private concessionaire spot on the river.  You can launch your kayak from here if you don’t have wheels and don’t want to tote your boat by hand down to the state park boat launch.




This morning the Wekiva Island cabanas and chairs are empty.  Too early. The sun, though white hot hasn’t warmed it up quite enough I suppose.  It’s about 68 now on its way to 88 today so I imagine by the time I return the folks will be here to spend the day.









A short distance beyond Wekiva Island I come upon this “house boat” and attached pontoon boat docked along side.




Doesn’t look like the house has any motor so I guess it would be called a barge??   Perhaps the pontoon towed it to this spot.  No one is around and from my kayak, I can’t see the land side entrance to this little house on the water but I love the reflections.




I paddle a little and float a lot.



I hear the limpkins screaming all along the way.






I paddle around the Buffalo Run Primitive Campsite which is the 5th  of the campsites available by reservation for over night paddles. I’ve come perhaps 3 miles.  I’ve been out two and half hours before turning around. The combined flow of the two springs is still relatively gentle for my paddle back which takes only an hour and a half.








On the way back an alligator glides across the water just in front of my boat and slips along side the bank.




More limpkins calling.




A great blue heron is also out along the banks as I paddle back up stream.



Such a beautiful river. 







I know I’m in the last mile of my paddle when I come upon the little house again.



Things have picked up at Wekiva Island.



When I paddle past, I notice this sign and also all the people with beer and mixed drinks in their hands.  Obviously there is a bar here and it must be the source of a lot of the revenue although you can rent the cabanas which have soft cushy furniture.  Not sure how they handle rain.  You can also rent canoes and kayaks.  There is a launch fee of $10.






Directly across from some of the bikini clad young women in the chairs is a juvenile little blue heron paying no attention to any of us.





Back in the Wekiwa Spring run I pass a black crowned night heron.







Ever since I passed the little house on the water,  more boats have passed me coming down stream as I paddle up.  They are just starting out and I am finished.  Perfect in my world. 

One of those coming out is David.   Left to our own devices, he gets on the river much later than I.  He doesn’t mind sharing it with lots of others apparently.









I pull the kayak up to the put in and get it back up on the racks before heading over to the spring for lunch and a swim.




I’ve brought my lunch so after a quick dip in the water, I eat and read while more and more people come to enjoy the 70 degree water temperature.








By mid afternoon when David returns, there are lots of folks in the water including him.











Pretty sweet spot.  How wonderful to have the spring, its run and river all within walking distance of our home.  It’s a mile walk on a very nice path.  What a fabulous extended back yard.  I could spend a lot of days just like this. 





  1. Beautiful pictures, a great "paddle plan" for our next visit there!

  2. Mmmmm....warm springs, so nice. See you soon.

  3. Did you notice the strikingly bright orange legs of the green heron? It's mating season and he's showing off his beautiful colors!

  4. Delightful to be out in the early morn before the crowds. Lovely reflections on this calm paddle morning.

  5. It's beautiful when the water is so calm and you can see reflections so well. Very peaceful morning.

  6. So peaceful, just perfect. I know the otters were adorable :-) Love the heron in flight, and his reflection along the shore. Your pics are so intimate on the water that it's hard to imagine that pontoon boat navigating the same area. Nice to have the comfort of separate timing for the same activity - and to end up together to enjoy the spring swim. Life is grand.

  7. Sweet paddle. So much to see. I wonder about that houseboat, what kind of permit does one have to have to use it on the waters there? Hope it is very restrictive so the whole place doesn't end up covered with them. That would be very sad.

  8. Oops! Needed to correct typo.
    What an absolutely perfect way to start the day! Your photos of the Green Heron are especially beautiful -- one of my favorite birds. (Among many, haha!). We loved our stay at Wekiwa State Park and our paddles on the Wekiva River and Rock Springs. Our tandem kayak is way too heavy to haul to the launch at the park, so we put in at Wekiva Resort. It was only $5.00 and an easy launch. But of course, your launch site is even more convenient since you have your kayak awaiting you. :-) I'm already missing our paddles on the gorgeous Florida spring-fed rivers. Glad to have your posts to remind me.

  9. Unless they're out of the water, otters are really tough to photograph!

  10. WOW... That does look like a beautiful river and Spring Run. Need to check that out. How is the campground...would Bill not freak out?? ;o))

  11. It looks beautiful. Have to remember this...

  12. Another beautiful paddle. I too have trouble deciding if I want to post those not so great pictures, the blurry ones or crooked ones that I can't fix in Photoshop. It's still a good record of the day.

  13. What a wonderful day you have had. So much better than than awful day I had.... 2 1/2 hours in the dental chair. I shall spend the rest of my day dreaming of a beautiful float on the river.

  14. I too love your green heron pictures and the fact that you could get out on the water without having to wait for me. I am not an early riser the day after dex. As much as you love the water, I am surprised you have no fins ... ;)

  15. What a lovely morning all alone with just wildlife to entertain you:) Perfect! How very cool that you got to paddle with the otters, even if they weren't very happy:) Cute little river house. Great reflection:) Glad David was able to join you later. What a nice day...life is good!

  16. Lovely paddle with lots of great bird sightings!! Love the reflections. Seeing otters-how cool! Looks like a lovely swim too...definitely a happy selfie at the end :)


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