Grab a paddle and enjoy a truly one-of-a-kind experience that starts at the world’s largest freshwater spring.
Emerging from the mouth of the world’s largest freshwater spring, the Wakulla River is an Official Florida Canoe Trail and a part of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails. This short paddling trail is an easy half-day journey through the river’s clear, cool waters (with slow currents making the upstream journey simple for those choosing not to shuttle), but offers an outstanding opportunity to witness the area’s diverse plant and animal life.
Starting three miles downstream from the spring itself (Edward Ball Wakulla State Park is fenced off to boaters of all kinds), the Wakulla River is wide, nearly straight and lined with cypress trees. Overhead, cormorant, anhinga, osprey and other birds can be seen soaring and nesting in the towering trees. In the water, playful turtles and reclusive alligators are almost certain to be seen while manatee are also a possible, thought slightly less certain, sight. Facilities do not exist along the river itself, though the launch areas at both the City of St. Marks Wakulla River Park and San Marcos de Apalache State Park offer a dock, canoe launch, restrooms, picnic shelter and water fountains there.
Amenities: Glass-Bottom boats, guided river tours, bird watching, historic lodge with dining, 27 guest rooms, 3 conference rooms, gift shop, picnicking, concessions, nature trails, snorkeling, interpretive exhibits, and horse trails.
Cost: $6/car (limit 8 per car)
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
I love walking a trail when it's lightly raining. Colors are vibrant. Tree branches sag with the weight of rain drops, temperatures are cooler and few other people venture out. And so a recent rainy Saturday was the perfect time to hike the Wakulla Springs Trail.view
I recently paddled the Wekiva River/Rock Springs Run, one of Florida's two federally designated wild and scenic rivers. Only a few miles north of Orlando, it was difficult to realize that more than two million people live within thirty miles of the river system.view