Kayaking - Canoeing - Rafting - Fishing - Surfing
Our Route Summary
What We Saw
The Rainbow River is fed by Rainbow Springs, a 500 million gallon per day spring that stays in the low 70s year round. It runs into the Withlacoochee River, which then flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The head springs are upriver of the put in at KP Hole at the state park.
Some folks like to float down this section of the crystal clear river from the start at KP Hole County Park. The float takes about 4 hours, while a paddler can complete the trip in a couple of hours or take a more relaxing pace.
Many people also take a mask, snorkel, and fins to explore the clear water. The upper half of this paddle has clear water but it will become more filled with sediment as one nears the takeout.
Chances are good you'll see lots of wildlife. There are several groups of otters on the river, some near KP Hole and some several miles downstream.
Anhingas and turtles like those at left are a common site.
Cypress trees in the water on both sides. And in this section, we
saw a number of large
gar in the water.
Most of the trip we paddled by riverfront homes on the right hand side of the river. When buildings appeared on the left also, that was a sign that we were nearing the town of Dunnellon.
short side channels and ponds to explore, like the one shown at
Just under a mile upstream of the takeout, there was a lake on river right leading under a railroad bridge.
GPS: N 29 degrees 03.299' W 82 degrees 26.770'
You'll continued to the left on the main channel to the takeout.
We passed under the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge, which used to be a takeout but was closed.
Past Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rainbow flows through a remote area of Dunnellon and joins with the Withlacoochee River just upstream of the takeout. There are interesting channels on river left that parallel the main channel. (And you'll also pass the public beach.)