Kayak the Ocklawaha River 18 Miles

My name is Gary Jones and I will be hosting this trip instead of Brian.

This is  the same Ocklawaha River trip that Brian Hembling cancelled.  I know Brian was looking forward to hosting this trip but unexpected events made him unavailable. As Brian says below this is an easy, relaxing, and the beauty is stunning. I highly recommend this trip for it's unspoiled natural Florida beauty.

 

Come out for the day and paddle one of Florida's finest touring rivers! Located about 2 hours from Metro Jacksonville the "Ockie" offers wilderness paddling close to home.

We will meet at Rays Wayside boat ramp at 9AM and shuttle cars to the takeout at Eureka West. Then cram everyone into 1 or 2 vehicles for the ride back to the put in at Rays Wayside.

We will then paddle down the Silver River spring run to the Ocklawaha and then to the take out. There are plenty of places to stop and swim and maybe if were lucky we will see the monkeys!

Don't let the mileage scare you, the Ocklawaha river flows at about 5 to 6 miles per hour and the paddling is very easy. The river is very narrow and there is very little motor boat traffic. We should cover the 18 miles in 4 to 5 hours with lots of swimming and fun.

 

Every one is kinda stressing about the mileage on this trip. Let me explain it this way. If this was an open water trip with no current lots of wind tides, then it would be a strenuous paddle. The Ocklawaha flows fast and is quite narrow. The average current is between 4 to 6 miles per hour.

I have done the 10 miles from Rays Wayside to Gores landing and it's just to quick. We did it last year and the trip took 3 hours. I have done the 8 mile trip from Gores Landing to Eureka East. The day was over before I knew it had started. So I figured I would combine the 2 trips into one and stretch it out over a day. This IS NOT a strenuous paddle! In fact you could just sit in your boat, keep it going straight and do the entire 18 miles in 4 hours.

So please come out and enjoy the day! it will be a lot of fun.

 

What to Bring:

Kayak (duh)

PFD

Whistle

Water (lots of water it's HOT!)

Sun Screen

Hat & Sunglasses

Bug Spray

Lunch-Snack

Waterproof camera

Awesome attitude!

 

Hope to see everyone there!! If you need directions or more info email me and I'll send you the Google maps information.

 

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  • Grant P.

    Long haul, but a beautiful river. We camped at Fore Lake after and had a wonderful swim.

    September 23, 2012

  • Jim O.

    Beautiful, primitive river with good flow. About 4 hours of actual paddling time at a good pace to cover the 18 miles. Water was a bit murky in some areas, probably due to recent rain.

    September 23, 2012

  • Benoit Gerard T.

    The river was beautiful, lots of wildlife

    September 23, 2012

  • Jim O.

    I really enjoyed the trip yesterday. Great river, company and weather. Thank you all for making it happen, especially to Gary for leading the trip. I hope to join you all again on another trip.

    September 23, 2012

  • Gary J.

    Beautiful weather

    September 22, 2012

  • Linda S

    Great leader. Awesome trip. Great conversation. Great scenery. Wonderful people.

    September 22, 2012

  • Christina

    I was going to attend this one with you guys but after reading the update agenda of up stream 10 miles and a total of 8 hrs, I'm going to need to decline. Hope we can do a easier / shorter paddle down silver springs again soon :)

    September 21, 2012

  • Gary J.

    Ok, guy & girls, the weather is looking good. 20-30% chance of rain, lows 67-68, Highs 87-90 degrees.
    Please try to be on time. We have to get a few cars to the take out, then come back to Ray Wayside park to launch.
    See ya in the morning,
    Your Host Gary Jones

    September 21, 2012

  • Benoit Gerard T.

    I am new to kayaking in Florida... Used to kayak in the rivers around Montreal, with some Peilcans... We need to buy 2 kayaks, before Saturday... any sugestions, as far as type of Kayak, where to buy them... I am planning to go to Academy tonight... Thanks

    September 20, 2012

    • Gary J.

      Or Black Creek Outfitters on Gate Parkway

      September 21, 2012

    • Benoit Gerard T.

      thanks guy, we bought the 2 kayaks at first coast... See you tomorrow :-)

      September 21, 2012

  • Grant P.

    Rain chance downgraded to 20%. Yippie!

    1 · September 21, 2012

  • Kathy F.

    I am in St. Augustine, and wouldn't mind traveling with someone to share fuel costs.. Cory can you fit my Kayak on your vehicle? Let me know.. thanks Kathy

    September 17, 2012

    • Kathy F.

      Hello Andrea, Yes, any other time.. I'd like to carpool with you. But I am just getting over this cold and I was hoping it would be gone by Saturday, but my energy level is very low. Corey was looking for someone to carpool with.. he is from st. augustine. I was going to go with him, but canceled due to still being sick.. Again, Thanks Andrea..

      September 20, 2012

    • Corey G

      Andrea, I'd be glad to meet you somewhere around St. Augustine to drive together. We can either use your car or my SUV.

      September 20, 2012

  • Grant P.

    I hate to be Debbie Downer, but go to Justweather.com and put in Ocala and it's 90% chance of rain. I would say move the trip to Sunday but I have Jury duty Monday.

    September 20, 2012

  • Gary J.

    The weather is looking good. Only a 30% chance of showers in the afternoon, high of 89. Looking forward to the trip.

    1 · September 19, 2012

  • Gary J.

    Rob McLevy, click on the address above and Google maps will open. It's about 4 miles east of Silver Springs, FL on St. Rd. 40 (Ft. Brooks Rd)

    September 18, 2012

  • Gary J.

    After leaving Ray Wayside Park, we will travel upstream about 10 miles and can stop at Gores Landing Campground and use the restrooms. Then its about 9 miles to E Hwy 316. No facilities along the way and none at the take out. The take out is under the bridge and is a primitive boat ramp. Last year from Gores Landing to the E Hwy 316 bridge took a little over 4 hours. We stopped 3 times, once for the monkeys, once because someone dropped his GPS overboard, and once for lunch and a swim.

    So plan on being on the water about 8 hours. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Maybe a hat.

    September 17, 2012

  • Debbie

    So is this trip on a Monday? And if so, I teach a class on Monday's beginning at 7. Would I be cutting it to close?

    September 17, 2012

    • Gary J.

      No Debbie, I goofed and posted the wrong date. The correct date is Saturday September 22, 2012 at 9:00am. Please be at the ramp by 9:00am. It's about an 1 hour 45 minute drive from I-295 and US 17 (Orange Park)

      September 17, 2012

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