Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting - Fishing

Wekiva River from Wekiva Island, Florida USA
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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Kathy Finsterle
  • Date Submitted: June 2017
  • Location: Wekiva Island, 1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, FL 32779
  • Typical Class of Water: 1
  • Distance Paddled: Paddle as far as you like out and back, upstream or downstream. Or go upstream to Rock Springs Run.
  • Water: fresh water
  • Wildlife: Alligators, turtles, otters, birds, bears, deer, fish
  • Special Regulations: Never feed wildlife, especially alligators.


Entry and Exit

  • Directions: From I-4 East/West take exit FL-434 W/W State Rd 434. Proceed for 8 miles and take a right on Wekiva Springs Rd. Proceed for approximately 3 miles and take another right onto Miami Springs Dr. Location is at the end of the road on the right..
  • GPS: N 28.714762 W-81.444905 degrees (actual )
  • Fee: $1 entry fee, $10 boat launch fee
  • Description: boat ramp
  • Parking: unpaved
  • Facilities: Restrooms, picnic areas, boardwalk, food, bar
  • Security Issues Known: None
  • Special Handicap Access: None

Where We Paddled and What We Saw

I launched from Wekiva Island boat launch located at the tail end of the Wekiva River which flows south from Lower Wekiva which is part of the network of Florida’s spring fed rivers.

The journey from Wekiva Island is ideal for novice paddlers as it is a short route and the waterways are easy to navigate. There is plenty of wildlife to observe as well as ample people watching with everyone else visiting the island.

As I left the boat launch I veered left to paddle upstream in the direction of Rock Springs run and Wekiwa Springs State Park. Along the way there is much to see including birds, turtles, and if you’re lucky alligators sunning themselves on nearby mangrove branches jutting out of the water.

I proceeded down the waterway which at one point breaks into a temporary fork around an island. My friends took the left side which flowed up towards Rock Springs Run for a short distance and I took the right. Both sides rejoined quickly so that we could all continue paddling towards the head of the spring together. Along the way, we saw more birds and turtles above the water on Bald Cypress trees and Live Oaks.

Eventually, we came to a shallow, clear water area (less than two feet deep) and were able to tie up our vessels along the shore and get out to wade in the water. Along the riverbanks you could see Red Maple trees, American Elm, Sabal Palms, Saw Palmettos, and Sweetgum trees. The forested area is beautifully preserved and largely untouched. We made sure to pick up any stray trash we saw in the water and on land while we were there. Thankfully, it was minimal.

We paddled back in the direction of Wekiva Island to drop our boats off and spend the rest of the afternoon on the boardwalk. The best part was being able to come back and have lunch and drinks right by where we had launched. All in all, I would highly recommend Wekiva Island to anyone who wants to kayak from beginner to more experienced. It's a beautiful stretch of waterway and the recreation area on land is a lot of fun if you are looking to spend the rest of your day hanging out closeby. Terms of Use


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