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Paddle Waccasassa River, Wekiva River, Levy County, kayak, canoe, FloridaPaddle Waccasassa River, Wekiva River, Levy County, kayak, canoe, Florida

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Reported: Nov. 2011; latest update: Oct. 2015

Waccasassa River... Wild and Remote Paddling in North Florida

The Waccasassa River is fed by Blue Spring in Bronson and much of it borders Waccasassa Bay State Preserve. The lower river is more swampy, while the upper regions are higher and drier, with much wildlife viewing. Little creeks off the river invite for exploring, though beware of getting stranded at low tide.

After the Wekiva merge and past the CR 326 bridge the Waccasassa starts to get more narrow and twisty with obstacles in the water. Approaching US 19, the river becomes almost un-navigable with many log jams; we were stopped by downed trees about 3 miles from the merge. Although spring-fed, the water is dark (tannic) due to flowing through Devil's Hammock Swamp. Blue Spring at Bronson is a popular swimming hole, though the park was closed when we visited.

A popular annual event in April is the Wild Hog Canoe and Kayak Race, about 15 miles from the SR24 bridge to the SR19 bridge - a challenging race / obstacle course.

Paddling on Waccasassa River
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
Waccasassa upstream to Wekiva River
On our first trip (high tide), we paddled upstream from the CR 326 launch for about three miles before a tree blocked the river and we turned back. The river is wide with a swift current to the juncture with the Wekiva River. Proceeding up the Waccasassa, the river narrows with more twists and turns, and more obstacles. (Trip report October 2012)
Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe
Boat ramp at CR 326 Looking out at the river from a canal next to the boat ramp Upstream from the boat ramp Old shrimp boat left to decay Going around a little island
Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe
Juncture with the Wekiva River (to the right) Upstream from juncture Bridge at CR 326 Past the bridge River getting narrower
Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe Paddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, CanoePaddle Waccasassa River - Florida, Kayak, Canoe
Narrower and more obstacles These logs finally blocked our way Effect of tide - water went down at least a foot while we were paddling Along the river in the Upper Waccasassa Conservation Area; here we see why the river is un-navigable Blue Spring in Bronson is the springhead of the Waccasassa; the park was closed
Paddling downstream to Otter Creek
On our second trip, we paddled downstream at low tide from the CR 326 launch to Otter Creek, about 1.5 miles. The river is wide with a swift tidal current, we ran into some motorboats in this section. (Trip report October 2015)
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Downstream from launch toward Otter Creek (and Waccasassa Bay) At low tide, the beaches looked welcoming but were actually too soft
to get out
One of two
motorboats
we saw
Returning to
launch at
Waccasassa Park

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