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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wekiva River

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal
Saturday April 9 decided to kayak Rock Springs Run from Wekiwa Springs. My photographer had other things to do today and since she does not like this paddle too much, it is too narrow for her likings, thought that today was going to be the day to go all the way to Rock Springs. Well, things did not work out the way I planned.

Wekiwa Springs Lagoon
 Put in/ Take Out: The put in is at the Wekiwa Springs State Park. It is not the best one you will find. Involves some walking from the parking lot to the put in and I would recommend a kayak cart. Maybe going to the put in is not that bad. But the return trip at the end of your paddle may be something tough. Here is a link with information about the state park and location: Wekiwa Springs State Park

I was in the water at 8:45. Did not see anyone ahead of me but lots of people around since there was an activity going on: Wekiva River Fest. The lagoon right out the spring is a heck of a place to see wild life, most of the time. Today there was not a single wading bird there, not one. Not a gator in the area around neither. I was surprised. After 15 minutes exploring decided to get going since had a long way to go. Left the lagoon on my way to Rock Springs Run. Crossed paths with another kayaker coming up river. Made it to The Run and started my paddling up but did not make it too far. There was a tree blocking the run before the first open area. It was a bummer for me. Tried to find a way thru but decided against it. Worst than that, there was no Plan B so improvisation was the order. Decided to paddle to a primitive camp down the Wekiva River named Buffalo Tram. I had never done this paddle before so at least was going to be a new place.

Rock Springs Run

Buffalo Tram camp Site
Made it to Buffalo Tram by noon and thanks to a motor boat. They came down river and there was a fork, I took the right route since the boat went left. Later realized that over paddled Buffalo Tram. When did not find it decided to turn around and took the right side of the river this time.Fifteen minutes into the it was.Better lucky than good huh? The camp was empty so I streched my legs for a while and had something to eat. Heard some noise in the forest and thought that maybe was going to see a bear. To my surprise a deer (doe) came out running and jumping from the forest, went up the trail leading to Buffalo Tram and back to the forest. Trying to see if it was still in the area I came close to a baby deer, a fawn(???), who disspapeared as quick as appeared. I just hope it finds Mom. At 12:30 started my paddle back to Wekiwa Springs.

It was not the best paddle on the record. The traffic on the river was heavy. Lots of green canoes from a place just outside the park. That brings the rant of the day. Somebody please try to explain to me how in the blue world that place is there, selling alcoholic beverages to the people. Let four of them go ahead of me and all the occupants had a beer even though the sign, just in front of the place says alcoholic drinks are not allowed. Most of these yahoos behave like idiots fueled by the alcohol they are consuming, some others do not need the alcohol anyways. I wonder how many of the ones i saw today made it to adults. Rant off.

This place sells liquor...

and this sign is just in front of it

Gator in the Wekiva River
Wildlife wise was not something to write home about. If you want to enjoy the river do not paddle here in a weekend. It is a circus. But the river is scenic and peaceful. Will provide you a relaxing experience any other day of the week. Saw but was not able to shoot pics a barred owl, a deer, a baby deer, red tailed hawks, swallow-kite tail, piliated and downy(or hairy) woddpeckers. Have pics of a few gators, including a dead one, and a couple of herons. Before turned around at the fallen tree on Rock Springs Run saw a shoot pics at wood ducks in a tree. If you are thinking that is a lot, we have seen more than that on prevoius paddles on this place.

Here are more pics...
Carolina Wren

Little Blue Heron

Green Heron

Wood Ducks


Pie Billed Greebe





Scenic Wekiva River

Two little gators

Time Sharing Condo

Four for one...and one for four

Balance display

Gator in the Wekiva Springs lagoon


                                                                            For more pics from this trip and/or previous trips please click here...Wekiva River


  1. I wonder if the tree you saw down is different from the one I paddled/pushed around last Sunday.
    I can top your drunks. Beer drinkers in an airboat between the St. Johns and Blackwater Creek. Both illegal.
    Great pics. Even more so that you had to take them yourself, paddling and photographing, instead of the usual division of labor with the Mrs.

  2. Was the tree a short distance from the confluence with the Wekiva River? This one was maybe 5 minutes going up the run. If there was a way around I missed it. If this is a sign, did not see a single King's Landing canoe on the state park on my way out.

    About the drunks, I guess they have the right to be in the river too. Do not know what to say Master Dave. Just do not like it.