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Paddle Rock Springs Run, kayak, canoe, FloridaPaddle Rock Springs Run, kayak, canoe, Florida

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Reported: Nov. 2011; latest update: 03/27/2014

Rock Springs Run... Diverse and Beautiful Paddling

Rock Springs Run is our favorite paddle run in Central Florida for its beauty and ever-changing diversity - we've seen new channels created, sandbars lost, and other changes over the years. Starting near Apopka, it meanders 9 miles joining the Wekiva River about 6/10 mile below Wekiva State Park. Together, Rock Springs Run and the Wekiva River comprise the Wekiva Paddling Trail. (Detailed map and photos below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: 9 miles; part of the 27 mile designated Wekiva Paddling Trail
Location:
Orange/Seminole Counties
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points: Kings Landing (Kelly Park, Apopka), Wekiva Springs State Park (Wekiva Springs Road), Wekiva Island (Miami Springs Road) (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: Kings Landing (launch fee; pickups and reverse pickups available); Wekiva Island (launch fee) (links, above right)
Nearby points of interest: Wekiva Springs State Park, Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park

The  launch is at Kings Landing (launch fee, rentals available) near Kelly Park in Apopka. The current can be swift, and during low water it may be necessary to pull your kayak or canoe over an occasional sandbar. The Run's many twists and turns can be a challenge, and trees downed after storms can present some obstacles. In recent years, the outfitter at Kings Landing has done a good job removing these obstacles. 

Wildlife include alligators, turtles, otter, deer and an occasional bear; birds suck as ibis, heron, and anhinga, and fish. Monkeys have been seen in the area, presumably the monkeys at Silver River are branching out.

Rock Springs Run State Preserve has off-road bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding. Three primitive campsites are located along Rock Springs Run, about halfway down the run (reservations required, accessible by kayak or canoe only), and there also is a primitive equestrian camping site.

Paddling at Rock Springs Run
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
Between Rock Springs Springhead and Kings Landing
There is no launch at the springhead. Launch from Kings Landing
and paddle upstream to the bridge that blocks access. Very scenic, mostly narrow and twisting - limbs and other debris can create obstacles.
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Launch/rentals at Kings Landing Canal from launch to run There are several platforms and rope swings along the way Some obstacles may be encountered  
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  Run to springhead is blocked Looking over the bridge Back at
Kings Landing
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The run is wider with less shade, no places to pull off to snack or stretch
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Beach at Kings Landing Cabins along the run  
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Indian Mound Campground Otter Camp   Old cypress
Mile 6 to Wekiva River Juncture
Example of the changing run - this is our favorite picnic spot seen over several  years:
2011 (left), March 2013 (center), November 2013 (right)
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From our stopping off point the run goes through a narrow, twisty, shaded section before opening to a flats area dominated by the lily pads. Approaching the Wekiva River, the run is more shaded.
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  Juncture of Rock Springs Run and Wekiva River
End of Rock Springs run to Drop-off
The last section to the Kings Landing drop-off at Wekiva Island is on the Wekiva River
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Wekiva Island Kings Landing drop-off
Wildlife along Rock Springs Run
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Gator mama with babies on her back Turtles sunning Great white heron Ibis Little blue Heron
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Gator Ibis Turtle Heron Flowers, too

More information on paddling on Rock Springs Run (opens in a new window):


- Florida Office of Greenways and Trails-Paddling Trails:
- Florida Greenways & Trails - Wekiva River Paddling Trail (file download)
- Florida State Parks - Rock Springs Run State Preserve

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Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
Rock Springs Run

Outfitters/Rentals

Kings Landing
Launch, shuttle service,  kayak/canoe rentals

Wekiva Island
Launch, kayak/ canoe/paddleboard rentals

Central Florida Nature Adventures
Tours


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