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Latest update: Oct. 2015

Waccasassa and Wekiva Rivers, Otter Creek... Overview

The Waccasassa River and Wekiva River (not to be confused with the Wekiva River near Orlando), and Otter Creek present a remote, scenic paddling experience with few paddlers or other boaters encountered. With their beauty and variety of habitats from swamp to forest, cypress (including some old giants), many flowers, birds and wildlife, these rank among our top paddling destinations in Florida. Another plus, it's close to Cedar Key - a day paddling trip. (Detailed map and photos below.)

paddle Waccasassa River, kayak, canoe

Distance: Waccasassa River, 29 miles (3-4 navigable); Wekiva River, about 8 miles (2-3 navigable); Otter Creek, about 10 miles (2-3 navigable). Much is not navigable paddling upstream.
Location: Levy County (Gulf Hammock, east of Cedar Key)
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Waccasassa River Park boat ramp (CR 326 off US 19) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Cedar Key, Crystal River, Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

None

Waccasassa and Wekiva Rivers and Otter Creek... Comments and Photos

Access to all 3 is from the boat ramp at Waccasassa River Park. The best paddling is from Waccasassa River Park upstream, very scenic with few motorboats (we didn't see any). About 2/3 mile upstream from the launch, the river splits - take the left hand fork to continue on the Waccasassa, and the right hand fork for the Wekiva. Downstream from the launch about 1.5 miles is Otter Creek. Due to the remote location, be sure to bring plenty of water and food.

Note: when paddling upstream on tidal creeks, take care to not get blocked by (previously hidden) logs during an outgoing tide. As a rule of thumb, we find that tides run about 2 hours later on upper sections of tidal creeks when compared to locations along the Gulf.

Click on the links below to see more details on each paddling destination:


Launch at Waccasassa River Park

Launch at Waccasassa River Park on CR 326 off US 19 at Gulf Hammock. The park also offers parking, restrooms, and picnic tables.


Flora and Fauna

This remote and largely untouched area is a treat for nature lovers and birdwatchers. The giant old cypress are notable features.

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