26701 E Highway 40, Silver Springs, FL
Moderate/Open to Public/Shared Fees/Rentals Available
Meet at 8:30 am at the canoe-kayak launch staging area at Juniper Springs Recreation Area. Admission fees apply - $5 + tax per person the last time I was there. We'll unload the kayaks there, then shuttle a few cars down to the take-out. Because of the twisting nature of the creek this trip will take about 5 hours on the water - approx. 6 hours including shuttle time so we should be back at our cars between 3 and 4 pm. Bring lots of water, insect repellent, sun screen, shady hat, and snacks/lunch.
Rather than a lazy float, Juniper is more like a roller coaster ride with many twists along a narrow way, possible overs and unders, and low hanging vegetation at the start. It's a little different each time you run it, so just expect an adventure and you'll find it. It is not difficult, but you can expect to get wet, hit the bank a few times, speed up, slow down, run into other boats, duck under branches, run aground a time or two, etc. If you can laugh at your own antics, you will enjoy the trip.
Note: Juniper Creek has a NO DISPOSABLE CONTAINER rule and they WILL check your coolers before you launch. So be prepared - use tupperware-type containers (not baggies) for your snacks/lunch and bring your water in reusable containers like bike bottles or Nalgenes.
NOTE: This trip is best done with short kayaks and inexpensive paddles!
NOTE: It's a long carry from the canoe/kayak parking area to the launch site. There are canoe carriers available, but if you have your own wheelies you might want to bring them. You can return them to your cars when we do the shuttle.
You can rent kayaks and canoes from the concessionaire at the park for $35 + tax for the day and the fee includes your shuttle back. In addition there a $20 + tax cash deposit required for the rental which you get back at the end. I recommend a single kayak rather than a canoe, but do your own thing. If you are going to rent, just meet up with everyone else at the canoe/kayak launch staging area at 8:30, then you can go take care of the rentals - that way I will know who all is in the group and the timing will work out about right. No need to reserve rentals ahead of time, they have plenty.
For more info about kayaking Juniper see http://5-staryakpak.org/places-to-explore/juniper-creek/