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River, Chuluota, Florida USA
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Our Route Summary
- Submitted by: Al Vazquez
- Date Submitted: 2/2001
- Location: North of Chuluota,
east of Orlando and west of Titusville
- Class: Typically flat water
river with some current
- Water Level: we paddled during a
time of extreme low water and had shallow spots,
but only one minor pullover on a sand shoal
- Distance Paddled: about 9 miles
one way (5 hours)
- Water: fresh, tannic
- Wildlife: Alligator, turtles,
Willow trees, water lilies, gar, catfish, and
other various large fish
- From I-95
north of SR 50:
I-95 onto SR
- Drive toward
Orlando and Christmas
50 will merge with Route 520
50 also becomes Colonial Drive
I-95 south of State Route 528:
- Exit I-95 onto SR 528 west
- Drive toward Orlando
- Travel 10.5 miles
- Exit onto SR 520 west (Exit 31)
- Travel 8.6 miles
- SR 520 merges with SR 50
- Travel 3.8 miles
right (north) onto Chuluota Road (Route
8 1/4 miles to the bridge over the river.
- Before crossing the bridge, turn right
left immediately into the small parking area.
- The portage to the river is About 75 yards
N 28 degrees 39.330' W 81 degrees 10.191' (actual)
- Fee: none
- Description: grassy banks
paved space for 5 or 6 vehicles about 75 yards from the river
- Facilities: none
- Directions: From the Entry point
above, head back south to Snowhill Road. Turn
Left (east) onto Snowhill and drive to the bridge
over the river there. Before crossing the bridge,
exit to the right and leave your vehicle there to
shuttle back to the entry point. The round trip
trip drive from the put in is only about 20
N 28 degrees 40.677' W 81 degrees 06.866' (actual)
- Fee: none
- Description: grassy banks
- Parking: adjacent unpaved
- Facilities: none.
(There are excellent hiking and biking trail heads on
Snowhill Road however.)
What We Saw
The Econlockhatchee River is a classic paddle in
central Florida. It originates as a couple of smaller
creeks that can be paddled only during very high water by
technically skilled paddlers and continues past our take
out point all the way to the St. Johns River. This
section starts to the north then turns to the east.
An unusual characteristic of the river are numerous
high sand bluffs like the one pictured at left. Turkey Creek is one of the only
other rivers in central Florida with such bluffs.
Though heavily used for recreation by nearby Orlando,
the river remains teeming with fish, alligators, and a
variety of plant life.
I saw one of the largest gators yet. My fellow
paddlers told me it was on the far bank in the water. I
finally saw it's head some six to eight feet from shore.
As I approached to take a photo (still from a safe
distance), I realized that what I thought was a large log
on the bank behind its head was actually the tail of the
big guy shown at right.
a couple of hours of paddling, the river widens dramatically. At
one of it's widest points with a spur to
the river right is a nice landing for lunch. When we
stopped, there was a primitive picnic table and the area
was adorned with voodoo-like trinkets.
also a trail through a Palmetto forest leading from the
clearing. If you go hiking, be careful not to walk near
the high sand bluffs up river from the lunch area as the
sand can give way.
the take out, the Florida Trail crosses the river over a very nice
foot and horse bridge shown in the photo. This bridge is a nice
with some bench seats and shade right by the river; a great place
to chart with passing hikers and equestrians.
used to be a smaller bridge that had been cleverly crafted
by Florida Trail and Sierra Club volunteers on the remains
of an old railroad span. It's shown in the smaller photo at right.
||On our February paddle, Willow trees on the river had
the fragrant blooms shown at left. Stop and smell the
Willow tree blossoms! (Unless, of course, you're allergic
to Willow tree Blossoms :-)