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This is part of the Santa Fe River Trail that curves past hardwood hammocks and the best part of the river to enjoy the springs, swallets, sucks and rises of the Santa Fe. Most of the springs are 2nd magnitude. With the low water, we first encountered the Columbia Spring/Rise/Swallet visible from the Put-in.
The rains of the prior week muddied up the water so the visibility wasn't the greatest, but the current, multitude of springs and sucks, variety of wildlife, and peacefulness of the River made this a great 13 mile paddle. We stopped for Lunch after 5 miles at Poe Springs on the Left Bank. We got out at the floating dock and had the picnic area to ourselves. 2 miles further we stretched at Rum Island Park on the right for a quick dip (no facilities).
We saw Naked Ed - a little bit of local color at Lilly Spring, and the goats immediately after Ed. We paddled up the spring run at Blue Springs following the boardwalk on the left. Then we came to the most congested part of the river at Ginnie Springs. There's a long, long campground on the left that looked like a giant tailgate party - tubers, paddlers, divers, beer drinkers, rope swingers and jumpers. It was fun to be in among all the action at Devil's Eye and Devil's Ear. Then after all the hustle and bustle, we had another 3 miles until the Take-out on the Left just before the bridge at SR47.
It took about 7 hours including our Lunch stop and side adventures. It was a 20 minute drive from the Take-out to the Put-in to retrieve the vehicles. (No facilities at Take-out or Put-in - that's why we stopped at Poe Springs.) This was a fabulous easy paddle. We'll do this again and hopefully the River will be clearer.
This was Day Two of a Three Day Paddling Trip.
Take-out: From High Springs take US41 / US27 South; less than .5 miles, turn right on CR340 (182nd Ave); 8 miles to the intersection of SR47, turn right towards Fort White; 3 miles to the dirt turn off on the Right as you approach the Bridge over the River.
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