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Withlacoochee River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: June 25, 2008
Nearest City: Ridge Manor, FL
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: Buck Jackson

Description:

Withlacoochee River (North) Silver Lake to Nobleton
Number of Paddlers: (2) Mary and me...

Trip Length: 6.2 miles took us 4.5 hrs... Launched boat at 10:30 AM

Air Temperature and Weather Condition: low 90s, humidity very high, mostly cloudy, but only a few drops of rain... Not much breeze... We were hotter than hell and sweating like pigs...

The River and Terrain: We left a vehicle at a public park at the intersection of Edgewater Rd and Lake Lindsey Rd in Nobleton.. there is a free boat launch and it is an easy place to get in and out of with plenty of parking... Then drove to Silver Lake Recreation Area in the Withlacoochee State Forest.. There is a $2.00 fee to use the boat launch in the "Day use" area...

Don't be confused by the name "Silver Lake", as it is just a wide place in the Withlacoochee River... Paddle North (Yes children, I meant North... the St Johns is not the only river in Florida that flows North)... go under the I-75 bridge and and you are headed for Nobleton...

I have done this paddle before when the river was at its normal depth, but this time it was down over 3 feet from normal and was very shallow in many places... Where the river forks and goes around Hog Island, we took the left fork and had to get out and walk and pull the kayak several times... Many trees down across the river, and without much water it was difficult to get around them...We were happy to see the riverfront homes as we neared Nobleton, as we were having doubts about having enough water to get to the pull out point... With the water so low, the current was non-existent...

If you take the right fork down river, you will go by Hog Island Camp Ground where there are picnic tables etc. It is a nice place to take a break.. With the water so low though, we took the left fork which is deeper and wider and is usually the easy way... I don't doubt that the right fork is impassible at this time..

GPS says it is 6.2 miles from the launch at Silver Lake to the pull-out at the park in Nobleton... It took us 4.5 hours to make the trip, and much of the time we were walking in the ankle deep water pulling the kayak...

Don't try this paddle until the river comes up to its normal level... Have done it before when there was plenty of water and it is an easy paddle over a beautiful stretch of river with lots of wildlife, birds, 'gators, river otters, etc

Difficulty Rating: it is difficult with the low water and the trees down across the river... You will be walking much of the time... it is easy when the river is up to par...

Accommodations:

Silver Lake Recreation Area is on the Withlacoochee River, and is also adjacent to the 46 mile paved Withlacoochee Bicycle Trail...

You can camp at Silver Lake, there is electricity and water and an RV dump station... hot showers, fee is $16.00 per day... If you only use the Day Use area at Silver Lake, the fee is $2.00...

There is a canoe/kayak rental place in Nobleton, but we used the public park and our own kayak, so I don't have any idea what they charge or what services they offer...

Fees:

We launched at Silver Lake where there is a $2.00 fee, and pulled out at the public park at Nobleton, where there is no fee...

Directions:

Northbound or Southbound on I-75, exit on State Road 50 (exit 301)... Go East on SR 50 to the second traffic light. Turn left (North) on Croom-Rital Road and go about 4 miles to Silver Lake Recreation Area... just past the gatehouse, the road forks... take the left fork to the "Day Use" area and you will see the boat launch and parking area...

To get to Nobleton from Silver Lake, continue North on Croom-Rital Road for about 3 miles, turn right on Nobleton Road... as you get into Nobleton, Nobleton road becomes Edgewater Rd... Edgewater Rd will dead end at Lake Lindsey Road... the public park and launch is just across Lake Lindsey road from where Edgewater intersects Lake Lindsey Road....


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