Getting out on the water with a kayak is a lot of fun at Juniper Springs. The Juniper Springs Nature Trail takes you to the spring. Besides being beautiful and serene, this stretch of water is filled with wildlife. Near the Mill House, you might even see an albino gray squirrel. During spawning, American eels go to the Sargasso Sea and then come back to the spring.
As you paddle through the stream, you’ll pass through a small whitewater rapid in the second half. But don’t worry; it will only take a few seconds for you to complete!
You might love kayaking in Juniper Springs if you’re looking for an eco-friendly adventure. The creek is full of lush vegetation and features many islands. Whether you want to paddle in the shade or under the sun, there are lots of options to amaze you. Moreover, you will even see some wildlife along the way.
Depending on your skill level, you can kayak on a moderately fast or swift current. While the water is shallow, the current is powerful enough to jolt you.
The 10 Best Kayaking Destinations in Juniper Springs
You’ll love these ten kayaking destinations around Juniper Springs if you’re looking for some pristine whitewater.
Because of its scenic waters, Juniper Springs is a popular kayaking spot. Getting around Juniper Springs can be tricky because it’s narrow and twisty. Don’t worry if you’re not a kayaker; there are other places in the area that are just as beautiful.
There are many springs throughout the area, but the most popular and affordable is Rainbow Springs, located on U.S. 41 just north of Dunnellon.
It’s easy to get to and is dog-friendly. Located along CR445, it’s an hour and a half drive from Tampa.
Admission is $6, but you can park a car overnight for just $2 if you bring your dog.
Here are the top 10 kayaking destinations around Juniper Springs;
A great kayaking destination in Juniper Springs is the Juniper Run. This waterway is surrounded by lush, jungle-like forests and is home to interesting wildlife. Near the Mill House, you can find albino gray squirrels, and you can see otters frolicking along the spring run’s edges.
You can also spot American eels that migrate to the Sargasso Sea and return to Juniper Springs to spawn. Juniper Run also encloses wetlands, which are full of wading birds and wildlife.
This run is not recommended for beginners. There are several hazards, such as slippery rocks, fast currents, and a strict no-disposable policy. If you’re not comfortable with paddling, you may want to choose another route. Although the creek is small, it can be difficult to paddle safely, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing. For this reason, a livery service can be helpful.
The Juniper Run is a good intermediate-level paddle trail in Ocala National Forest. It begins at the head springs of Juniper Springs Recreation Area and flows through Juniper Prairie Wilderness to the Highway 19 bridge. You can complete this route in anywhere from 3.5 to five hours. Be aware of the strict non-disposable policy at Juniper Springs; park rangers may check your kayak and may require you to leave some trash at the site.
Fern Hammock Springs
One of the most beautiful destinations in the state is Fern Hammock Spring, a small spring located within the Juniper-Silver Glen National Forest. The secluded spring is home to a variety of creatures, including turtles and fish. In short, the water is unusually clear for a Florida spring, with a low dissolved solids content. Here you can rent kayaks and paddleboards and enjoy a day of kayaking or canoeing.
The springs are known for the West Indian manatee, and they visit the springs in the winter. Aside from manatees, the natural springs also have many other types of wildlife. Black bears, red wolves, and alligators are all commonly seen, and the resident hippo is also a sight to behold. This destination is an excellent choice for a family outing.
Wekiva State Park
If you are looking for a great place to kayak in the area, Wekiva State Park in Juniper Springs is a great place to start. The Wekiva River is a nationally designated wild and scenic river. The Wekiva River starts in Wekiva Springs State Park and winds its way north to the St. John’s River. Kayak rentals are available at both state parks.
The park features a swimming area with an average depth of four feet. You can also kayak and canoe in the Wekiva River. You can also take a shuttle boat downstream from Wekiva Island to the parking area. The shuttle run is a self-guided 10.5-mile trip through the park and offers a great view of the spring-fed waterway.
Wekiva State Park is home to several parks and recreation areas, including the Chassahowitzka River Campground and Recreation Area. This park offers an 8.5-mile stretch of the river that’s perfect for kayaking. Throughout the park, you’ll see cypress trees draped in moss and river otters. The state park also offers boat rentals and campgrounds.
Econ River Kayaking Near Juniper Springs
If you are looking for spring-fed canoeing, you’ve come to the right place. This scenic, spring-fed river is located just north of Orlando, Florida, and is accessible by cheap flights from major hubs. If you’re traveling with children, the canoe outfitting industry is ready to put you on the water and provide equipment and instructions for your trip. Here’s what you need to know about booking your Econ River kayak rentals in Juniper Springs.
If you’re an inexperienced paddler, don’t rent a tandem canoe. This type of canoe is difficult to maneuver in tight quarters. You’ll likely bump into the shore or bump into a log in the water. In addition to bumping into other kayakers, you may also bump into other logs or other objects. Be prepared to ram obstacles and keep a positive attitude.
Kayaking At Anastasia State Park Near Juniper Springs
For a fun, relaxing outing, you can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard at Anastasia Watersports in Juniper Springs. If you’d like to explore the salt marsh, the beach, and local bio-diversity, you can rent one of the park’s kayaks or paddleboards. Not only will you have fun exploring the water, but you’ll also improve your balance and strength!
The park is over 1,600 acres and is a wonderful place to rent kayaks. It offers unspoiled beaches, maritime hammocks, and ancient sand dunes. Wildlife is abundant here, including colorful roseate spoonbills, abundant wading birds, and painted buntings. If you’re a nature lover, you can also hike the Ancient Dunes Nature Trail and check out the 139 campsites.
Blue Spring State Park
Seeing the manatees at Blue Spring near Juniper is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. While manatees are a very rare sight, it’s possible to get up close and personal with these gentle giants during winter. Depending on the season, you might also see some large, brown “sea cows” near the entrance of the Blue Spring run. You can launch from French Landing or take a guided river boat tour.
While you’re exploring Juniper Creek, don’t forget your life jacket and a helmet. The creek is narrow and shallow, with depths ranging from just under a foot to about two and a half feet. While the creek is spring-fed, inflow from side creeks causes a constant swift current throughout the stream. Side creeks are shallow and often dotted with wildlife, so you’ll want to be alert to their presence.
Weeki Wachee Springs
The Weeki Wachee River is less than two hours from Orlando and is renowned for the Mermaid Show. Moreover, kayak rentals around Weeki Wachee Springs will get you in and out of the river on a three-hour trip with all the necessary gear. The company also offers a shuttle service to and from the park. Personal kayaks are not permitted on the shuttle. Upon request, we can also provide additional equipment.
If you’re planning a kayak trip to Weeki Wachee Springs, be sure to make reservations in advance. The park limits the number of kayaks allowed on the water to 280 each day. You can also make reservations for boat launches, which is recommended if you plan on paddling on the weekend or during the holidays. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip because the park can be crowded.
The Weeki Wachee River is the longest river in the state. It flows eight miles from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to the Gulf of Mexico. This is an excellent kayaking destination in both directions, and you can launch your kayaks at Bayport Park and Rogers Park. In addition to Wekiva State Park, you’ll find three other kayaking rivers near the city!
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
The river at Jonathan Dickinson State Park is home to a world war II training camp and a shipwrecked Quaker merchant. The Loxahatchee River is one of Florida’s most pristine and scenic rivers, and you’re sure to have a great time kayaking or canoeing down it. The river’s mangroves and shaded banks are home to an abundance of aquatic life, including alligators.
This 650-acre park is an ideal spot for beginners. The water is shallow enough to allow easy passage over sensitive plants and rocks. It is also easy to slide under logs and trees and make tight turns. The entrance fee to Jonathan Dickinson State Park is $6 for cars with two to eight passengers. One-person vehicles can enter for free. It is possible to kayak in the park all year long.
In conclusion, kayaking enthusiasts can explore Juniper Springs for its crystal clear waters, a wide variety of habitats, and stunning views. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there’s sure to be something to interest you here.