One of the most beautiful paddles you will do on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Weeki Wachee Springs is a must do. I still can’t believe it took me so long to visit this magical place. The water is crystal clear and the bottom is sandy with aquatic grass here and there. It is just absolutely gorgeous.The Barracuda 14' and Seagull custom 12'6" on the way to Weeki Wachee Springs Florida
Weeki Wachee is about an hour north of Tampa. It has been a roadside attraction for the past 60 years but, prior to the underwater mermaid show the area was inhabited by the Seminole Indians. They are the ones that actually named the spring “Weeki Wachee" which means “little spring” or “winding spring”. The water stays a steady 74 degrees year round. The current flowing out of the spring head is pretty strong (5mph) making it a fun down stream paddle. The river flows for 12 miles before finally reaching the Gulf of Mexico.
We arrived around noon to the park and they gave us a couple of options. Option one was to drive our car to the end and they would shuttle us back to the start point and we can launch from there. Option two was to park at the end and paddle upstream and then again down stream. Since, this was our first time we opted for option one.
We decided to use our race boards even though this paddle could be easily completed on a recreational style paddleboard. Kudos to the park for requiring pfds (personal floatation devices) and whistle. We took it an extra step and brought our leashes just incase. Any time there is a lot of flowing water it is always a good idea to be tethered to your board with a leash.
Once we launched we knew immediately that this was going to be a special paddle. The current was flowing and the water was crystal clear. You could see the sandy bottom and the grass flow with the streaming current. The water was so clear and the way the hues of blue meshed with the green from the trees was just simply amazing. The contrast of the colors really make you feel like you are in a whimsical wonder land far away from the big city.
There were a lot of turns down stream making it a little more exciting for a 14’ board. Completely manageable but, a smaller board would be more fun. The park told us to look out for manatees, otters and the occasional gator. We only saw fish and turtles on this trip but, it was still completely worth it. Not seeing them just gave us a great reason to make another trip back.
As we paddled along we noticed these rope swings and make shift stairs on trees that everyone was climbing to jump into the cool water. It looked super fun. There were a lot of people waiting in line for their chance so, we decided to skip jumping this time. It is game on the next time we go though.
We paddled a total of 6 easy miles on this trip. This is a great adventure the whole family would love. Specially if you are only going down stream. If you want an extra workout you can launch from the end point and paddle back upstream (against the current) and then take it easy back down. It is so beautiful seeing it twice in one day would be a bonus.
Happy Paddling and don’t forget to reach beyond the shore!!