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Reporterd: Nov. 2011; latest update: Feb. 2014

Econlockhatchee River... Paddling in Central Florida

The Econlockhatchee River is a tributary of the St. John's River and one of the last unspoiled rivers in Central Florida, putting it at the center of many disputes between developers and environmentalists. The river is home to diverse habitat and wildlife including eagles, sandhill cranes, wading birds, deer, turkey, and alligators. The name means “river of mounds” referring to the numerous Indian mounds along its banks. (Detailed map and photos below)



View Larger Map
Distance: 36 miles, 19 mile state designated paddling trail from the CR 419 bridge to Lake Harney (SR 46 bridge)
Location: Orange and Seminole Counties (Orlando, Oviedo)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points: SR 50 (Bithlo); CR 419 bridge, Snow Hill Road (Chuluota/Geneva), SR 46 bridge (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Orlando (link, above right)
Nearby points of interest: University of Central Florida, Little Big Econ State Forest, St. John's River

Water levels can vary depending on rainfall. The section from SR 50 to CR 419 (15 miles) is twisty and subject to many portages or may be impassable when the water is low; the heavy cypress canopy creates perpetual shade. The section from CR 419 to SR 46 (19 mile designated trail) through the Little Big Econ State Forest is wider with many sandy riverbanks. Camping is available in the forest at designated campsites; the Florida National Scenic Trail crosses the river on a bridge in the forest.

At the Snow Hill bridge is a phenomenon called the Oviedo Lights - mysterious bluish-green lights that rise out of the swamp and float across the water. Some will say it's just swamp gas, but legend tells that it's the spirit of Christopher Klik who hung himself from the bridge over a lost love!

Paddling at Econlockhatchee River
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
SR 46 Bridge Upstream
We paddled about four miles upstream from the SR 46 Bridge. The first mile is on the St. John's River, to the juncture of the Econ. Here the river is wide and flows through prairie with no shade until about 1.5 miles up the Econ when more trees line the shore. The river remains wide, however, and very little shade in this section.
Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge
Launch at SR46, shared with
motorboats and airboats
On the St. John's.
Many boats and airboats here.
Mouth of the Econlockhatchee River
Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge
On the Econ We saw a lot of cows Starting to see some trees We only saw a few gators, one little one (lower right) A pretty shaded section
Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridgePaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at SR46 bridge
Many birds At the launch, this bird waiting for the fishermen to get back with fish
Snow Hill Road Bridge Launch Upstream to Florida Trail Bridge
On this paddle we went about four miles from the Snow Hill Road Bridge past the Florida Trail bridge. This section of the river was more wooded with some shade.
Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd
Launch at Snow Hill Road     Alligator  
Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd Paddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill RdPaddle Econlockhatchee - Kayak, Canoe - Launch at Snow Hill Rd
  Florida Trail bridge      

More information on paddling on Econlockhatchee River (opens in a new window):

- Florida Greenways and Trail-Paddling Trails
- Econlockhatchee River Paddling Trail (file download)

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