Explore this route below in the interactive map
Click here to open this route, with the ability to pinpoint your GPS location, in your phone’s web browser and use it on the water
No shuttle service currently available. Self-shuttle or out-and-back from Ray Wayside only
Silver Springs is right on the outskirts of Ocala National Forest, and is famous for being the set of many old-timey jungle movies in the 50s and 60s. There is a population of monkeys that live here, one of only a handful of wild monkey populations in Florida. Come along on the tour to learn how they got here, and how they’ve adapted to their new environment. Manatees, fish of many varieties, birds, and alligators can be seen along the spring-run at Silver Springs.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ROUTE/TOUR
The put-in for this stretch is at Silver Springs State Park, and there is a shuttle available from the on-site outfitter (may be affected by covid-19 closures, check ahead of time). If you don’t want the headache of the shuttle, and you’re a strong paddler, you can try launching at the take-out and paddling up-stream.
This is a down-river, one-way trip, making it a bit more like a lazy river ride than an open ocean paddle… just steer your craft and go with the flow! Paddle down a crystal clear canal out to the first and largest spring-head, and the beginning of a massive spring run fed by multiple springs over the course of many miles. This is one of the most popular springs, and is often quite crowded. Silver Springs was THE travel destination for many celebrities and wealthy travelers in the early 20th century, and dominated the tourism industry of pre-Disney Florida.
The incredibly clear water and the depth of the spring run make for some heavenly colors… every shade of blue you can imagine, Silver Springs has it. Keep your eyes peeled for all the other cool wildlife often sighted on this river, including otters, deer, wild pigs, raccoons, and many varieties of birds and fish. There is always a chance of spotting some manatees or the resident monkeys here as well.
You’ll drift/paddle yourselves a meandering 6 miles before finally arriving at your take-out point, where we will have transportation arranged (if you’re on a tour) to bring you back to your vehicles at the put-in.
You’ll be back at your cars by around around 3-4 hours after we hit the water, at which point you can go enjoy the park by-foot, or head out and explore the nearby cities of Ocala!
If you come out on a tour with me, I’ll be snapping photos all along the way and will make sure to send them to you after the tour!
Beginners and experienced kayakers are capable of handling this stretch as long as you go down-river. Tour participants must know how to swim and must wear their provided life-jacket throughout the tour.
YOU SHOULD BRING;
– comfortable outdoor clothing
– a change of clothing and/or towel
– water and/or other beverage of choice
– a camera of some sort
– an adventurous attitude
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO;
It is a bit buggy out here at night, but is usually fine once we get on the water. Wear long sleeves and pants and bring bug spray. All kayaks should be marked with glow sticks or lights in this location at night.
Want to paddle it yourself? Awesome! Click here to open the route, with they ability to pinpoint your GPS location, in your phone’s web browser and use it to navigate on the water!
Want me as a guide and a few of my Pakayaks as rental boats for this adventure? Simply add the tour to your cart, checkout, and I’ll contact you within 24 hours to get your preferred tour day and time, and any other information I may need from you. You’ll also be able to ask any questions you may have at this time. If you’d like, feel free to call before booking or after booking instead of waiting for me to contact you.
Private 2 person tours only at this time. Pakayaks are sit-inside touring style kayaks (not suitable for all sizes and experience levels)
ABOUT THE BOATS
A 14ft sit-in touring style kayaks, the Pakayak Bluefin 14 (Suitable for paddlers with some experience. Maximum suggested height 6ft. Maximum suggested weight 250lbs).