Experience serenity while paddling down the Wacissa River, where birds, turtles, otters and other creatures abound.
A 15-mile stretch of largely unspoiled Old Florida beauty, the Wacissa River is an easy-to-moderate journey through a waterway that begins wide and marshy before narrowing, quickening, and finally ending in a braided area that takes some concentration to navigate. Put-ins at Wacissa Springs (Mile 0) and the Goose Pond Recreation Area (Mile 10) both offer parking and portable toilets, as does the take located at Nutall Rise (Mile 15).
Throughout this picturesque waterway, paddlers will come face-to-face with the wonders of the Sunshine State. From soaring hawks and osprey overhead to turtles, alligators and countless fish in the waters beneath your hull, this is a place where you’re truly immersed in natural beauty. There are two remote public landings along the way that make good rest stops, at 2.5 and 8 miles below the headspring respectively, and numerous places to slow down and relax as well. When water levels are low, a few pull-overs may be necessary, and there’s always the chance that a recent storm has resulted in a tree fall that will need to be navigated around. These inconveniences are minor, however, in comparison with the joy of the journey itself. Should you take the entire 15-mile trip, just be careful to watch for the entrance to the slave canal approximately 1.5 miles downstream from the Goose Pond site. It’s your connection to the Aucilla River, which will take you to your final destination at the Take-out.
Amenities: Parking area, restrooms, canoe and kayak rentals
Cost: No entry fee
Kayak / Canoe
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Since I coordinate most of the state's designated paddling trails for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, many people want to know my favorite river. I try to be coy in answering. After all, Florida might have the largest number of scenic and diverse paddling trails of any state in the nation.view