Thoughts of canoe trips are often associated with the wilds of the North, or waters cascading through mountain valleys. Although those areas indeed have beautiful canoe routes, so do other parts of the country.
The Wekiva River winds for 16 miles through the peaceful cypress and maples of the Wekiva Swamp in central Florida near Orlando. Forty-eight million gallons of water pour daily into the river from Wekiva Springs and from rock Springs, 7 miles upstream. The clear aquamarine water at the Wekiva springhead is a popular cooling-off spot on hot summer weekends, and the upper portion of the river may be crowded with canoes.
To reach the launch point, drive a mile east of the Wekiva Springs State Park entrance on Wekiva Springs Road Turn north on Miami Springs Road and continue about 1/4 mile to the Wekiva Marina. There, the water flows swiftly, but canoeists can still paddle upstream a mile to Wikiva Springs where the constant 72 degree water makes for ideal swimming and snorkeling.
Downstream from the marina a 1/2 mile, the river flows around a chain of islands. After passing Katie's Landing, the first take-out point, the river narrows and the current picks up speed. Near the end of the trail the river widens before entering the St. Johns river where tall imposing cypress trees spread out in all directions. Crossing St. Johns and paddling north 2 miles will take you to High Banks landing.
For shuttle and rental info call Katie's Landing @ 1-407-628-1482