Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Places to Paddle > FL > Ocklawaha River Add a Report

Email Page Printer Friendly Version Submit a Report
Ocklawaha River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: June 17-18, 2006
Nearest City: High Springs, FL
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: katiegd

Description:

We chose to paddle the Ocklawaha (or Oklawaha) for a weekend trip because of the campground at Ocklawaha Canoe Outpost (www.outpostresort.com) and easy shuttle service. What a great choice we made! Joe and Val at the outpost are great. They live on site and are happy to help you with whatever you need. They even have a little store with last minute paddling and camping needs as well as a great selection of "Life is Good" items. They rent kayaks and canoes and offer shuttle service if you bring your own.

We arrived at the Outpost and set up our campsite (they have 8 or 10 campsites each with picnic tables and a fire pit with a very civilized bathroom/shower cabin just up the trail near the rental cabins). One little minus is that the campground is just off a major County road near the high bridge so you can hear cars all the time.

We took the shuttle van to the Gore's Landing drop off for the 8 mile paddle and off we went through the Ocala National Forest. The corp of engineers does not clear this river of downed trees. The only clearing is done (at least the first half) by the folks at Ocklawaha Outpost, so they only clear it enough for kayaks and canoes to pass. This makes it unpassable for boats and jet skis and therefore very quiet and serene. There are just a few area that require tricky maneuvering, but mostly its an easy paddle with a great current for floating, and plenty of logs going into the water to "Parallel Park" up against for a snack break (if there's not a gator on it). There are a few T-splits in the river that aren't exactly clear which way to go, but if you take one and you come to an end, turn around. Fish Creek is one (it goes to the left and is marked by a faded sign). Eaton Creek is another. I always take the side creeks just to see what's down there. They don't go too far so may as well see it all. Toward the end of the run, you will encounter more small boats (VERY POLITE). After you pass under the high bridge, the Outpost boat ramp is on the right (with a big red sign). Just a few steps up the hill is our campsite. Drive into town to buy Smore's fixins at the little store and pick up a pizza.

We loved this paddle so much, we did the exact same thing the next day after camping the night. Took the shuttle again to Gore's Landing and enjoyed it all over again. WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS: Over the two days, we saw a total of 31 gators. Those were just the ones we saw, who knows how many were right there that we didn't see. There was brief deer sighting and other people at the campground had seen a mother Black bear with two cubs drinking at the river. We saw turtles and the most beautiful flowers. The Ibis were in huge groups of 20-75, great blue herons, great egrets, a kingfisher, all fascinating...but alas, no monkeys this trip. They are seen on this paddle but are more likely further upstream (the Rays Wayside/Silver River drop off).

Can't wait to return and do the upper river!!

Accommodations:

www.outpostresort.com: Campground has primitive campsites, a boat ramp and small rental cabins (with AC I believe). There is a cabin dedicated to separate men and womens restroom and shower for people using the campsites. I think the cabins have their own restrooms. There are also separate RV sites. There is a little essentials store at the checkin and a bait and tackle shop onsite. There is a grocery store a couple of miles up the road and a pizza joint in "Town" that delivers to the campground. I could not get a cell phone signal on T-Mobile. Val and Joe said that only Verizon works out there.

Outfitting:

Two Wilderness Pungo 120's

Fees:

Campsite was $16.
Shuttling our personal kayaks was $16 each.
They also rent kayaks and canoes and cabins.

Directions:

From Jacksonville: I-10 West to I-75 South to Exit 368 take 318 East to US 441 South to 316 East to 200A South for mi and back onto 316 East for approximately 13 mi to the Outpost on the left before bridge (if you go over the bridge, you missed us!)
or
17 South to 19 South to Salt Springs and take 316 West over the big bridge and we're the first right turn. ( I think mapquest directions were quicker but they have one wrong item, you should turn where the sign says "Ft McCoy" right after Salt Springs.

From South FL: I-95 North to Florida Turnpike North to I-75 North. I-75 to Exit 352. Bear right onto Hwy 40 which eventually turns into Silver Springs Blvd. Follow through downtown Ocala, past many of the shopping plazas, past the WaterPark, past the entrance to Silver Springs, past CR326. Then you'll come to a blinking lite......CR 315. Turn left. Follow until you come to a 4-way stop (CR 315 and CR 316). Turn right onto CR 316 East and follow for approx. 4 miles. Turn left onto 151st (there's a sign that says "Cross Florida Greenway" on the corner). Our front desk is in the building with the red kayaks in front. NOTE: If you go over the big bridge on 316, you went too far!!!

From Tampa: I-275 North to I-75 North. I-75 to Exit 352. Bear right onto Hwy 40 which eventually turns into Silver Springs Blvd. Follow through downtown Ocala, past many of the shopping plazas, past the WaterPark, past the entrance to Silver Springs, past CR326. Then you'll come to a blinking lite......CR 315. Turn left. Follow until you come to a 4-way stop (CR 315 and CR 316). Turn right onto CR 316 East and follow for approx. 4 miles. Turn left onto 151st (there's a sign that says "Cross Florida Greenway" on the corner). Our front desk is in the building with the red kayaks in front. NOTE: If you go over the big bridge on 316, you went too far!!!

From Tallahassee: I-10 East to I-75 South to Exit 368 take 318 East to Us 441 South to 316 East to 200A South for mi and back onto 316 East for approximately 13 mi to the Outpost on the left before bridge (if you go over the bridge, you missed us!).


Show All FL Reports - Submit Your Report



 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

PFD's (Life Jackets)

Bug Shelters

Kayak & Canoe Outriggers

4-place Boat Trailer












Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.
Sweepstakes Banjo Shirt