Ichetucknee Springs-Santa Fe River

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Mickey Jensen | VCKC
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Date: November 28, 2006

Number of Paddlers: 58, 9 canoes, 2 tandem yaks, 27 single yaks, 7 private single yaks, 1 private canoe.

Travel Time: The trip from Mulberry Grove Rec Center to the put in point in Fort White was about 90 minutes. This was a good trip to Car pool because of the distance as well as limited parking at the river. The fall tree color was brilliant throughout the drive north.

Boat Rentals:

Boats and shuttle service were provided by Ichetucknee Family Canoe & Cabins. (866-224-2064). All equipment was in very good shape, and customer service was superior. All equipment was at the put in point when we arrived. Shuttle service was very efficient via two vans with trailers making round trips from the take out point at Hwy 129 back to the State Park parking lot.

Weather Conditions:

The temperatures were a very comfortable mid 60's to low 70's..

The River & Terrain:

The Ichetucknee is spring fed by nine named springs and a number of smaller unnamed springs. The water is very clear and the current is quick flowing which made paddling the first six miles very easy. There were a couple of areas that appeared to be rapids as the water boiled to the surface. The current was very swift as the river travels through a culver and underpass of the highway. The tree color was at it height with reds, oranges, and yellows around every turn. There was some deadfall which challenged a few paddlers. Three people capsized their kayaks, each for different reasons - a mishap at the put-in dock, a capsize at the point where a dock and the river narrow and a run it with deadfall in the middle of the river. Mickey Jensen and Barb Bickley were able to demonstrate an assisted rescue that was taught at the October safety class when Mickey failed to navigate around a submerged tree and capsized in very deep and swift water. The merge with the Santa Fe was noticeable as the current slowed to about 1 ½ mph thus requiring much more effort to paddle the last four miles. The trip totaled just under 10 miles according to members' GPS readings.

Wildlife sightings:

Typical river birds were seen as well as many turtles sunning on logs. No manatees were sited on this trip.

Group Enjoyment & Difficulty:

This was a nice paddle and acceptable distance for most all paddlers. Many were tired and ready for lunch at the end of the trip.

Post Trip Lunch:

We lunched at Floyd's Diner in High Springs outside on the patio. Service was quick and efficient. The food was very good after the exercise and fresh air! What a great day!

Respectfully submitted,

Mickey Jensen

Last update Friday, April 11, 2008

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