Florida is known for its beautiful natural springs and crystal clear rivers. The Weeki Wachee River is one of those must see places in the state.
“The Seminole Indians named the spring “Weeki Wachee,” which means “little spring” or “winding river.” The spring is so deep that the bottom has never been found. Each day, more than 117 million gallons of clear, fresh 74-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns. Deep in the spring, the surge of the current is so strong that it can knock a scuba diver’s mask off. The basin of the spring is 100 feet wide with limestone sides and there, where the mermaids swim, 16 to 20 feet below the surface, the current runs a strong five miles an hour. It’s quite a feat for a mermaid to stay in one place in such a current.” – WeekiWachee.com
Yes… you read correctly… Mermaids! Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is the only place in the world to see mermaids.
Click here to read more about the State Parks Mermaids.
OK… Back to the paddleboarding. I put in at the state park where the friendly staff at Paddling Adventures showed me the map and went over the rules of the river. I walked my BIC 12’6″ Wing down the crushed stone path and into the crystal clear waters of the river. After pushing off I immediately began to see all kinds of fish and wildlife. Your not allowed to paddle all the way to the head springs so after a 300 yard paddle upstream I turned around and began floating with the swift 5 mph current.
Even with the overcast day the water had a deep blue color and the bottom was easily visible. I had to turn around about 1.5 miles down to make it back before they locked the gate at 3pm. I’ll be back to paddle and make sure to give myself enough time to enjoy the 5.5 miles to Rodgers Park.
If you dont have your own board you can always rent one from SUP Weeki, a local business who rents and shuttles on the Weeki Wachee River.
Click the photos below to see more of the quick afternoon SUP on the Weeki Wachee River.