Wild, Wonderful Withlacoochee
February 16 – 21, 2014
Distance: approx 60 mi.
(not counting Gum Slough)
Registration: $275/Adult; $250/Senior, College Student
Child (7 and under)/free
Shuttle: $25/person $25/boat
End-of-trip shuttle from Bird Creek Park on the Gulf of Mexico back to start at Lake Panasoffkee
Paddle Florida Lite: Four days or less: $100/person per day + $50 for end-of-trip shuttle for paddler and boat.
Registration Deadline: February 3
Official Outfitters: Aardvark's Florida Kayak Co. and Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak.
Watch the YouTube video showing the beginning of the 2013 trip
Day 1 - Our adventure begins at Sumter County's Marsh Bend Outlet Park in Lake Panasoffkee. We will spend the night here and review the trip to come.
Day 2 - We will paddle to Potts Preserve, a facility maintained by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Our rest stop will come relatively early at the Wysong Dam, another District property. Along the way, we will see abundant wildlife including, turtles, fish and many species of birdlife. Osprey, bald eagles, swallow-tail kites, redwing blackbirds and vultures abound.
Day 3 - Gum Slough is a renowned run that many paddlers envy. This day will be spent exploring this historic run.
Day 4 - We paddle from Potts Preserve to Rainbow Springs State Park. Actually, we will paddle to the mouth of the Rainbow River to be shuttled to the State Park. During the scout trip, after paddling up the spring run, against the current, it was decided this is something that we didn't want to subject our paddlers to. We will spend the night at this glorious state park. In keeping with our tradition, a visit to a Florida State Park is included in all our trips. The rest stop on this day will be at Grey Eagle, a boat ramp provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Day 5 - We get to paddle from the park 6 miles down the Rainbow River, with a great current carrying us along to the Withlacoochee. From the mouth of the Rainbow, we continue on our longest day, across Lake Rousseau to the lock and dam. Our rest stop will be at Citrus County's Goldendale Ramp (8 miles). We camp near the dam and our boats and paddlers will be shuttled to the Inglis Spillway for the next day's launch (total Day 5 miles: 17).
Day 6 - We will paddle a very scenic portion of the Wild, Wonderful Withlacoochee, through the village of Yankeetown, to Levy County's Bird Creek Park on the Gulf of Mexico. Our rest stop will be at Winding River Park, about 5 miles from the finish.