Florida Paddlers Rendezvous 2017

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Silver Springs State Park Campground, Silver Springs, FL
Friday, October 27th - Sunday, October 29th

Location Photo
Silver Springs State Park

Event Information


The 15th annual Florida Paddle Rendezvous will be hosted by The Villages Canoe & Kayak Club at Silver Springs State Park Campground, Silver Springs, Florida. This area of Florida has some of the finest spring fed river paddling in Florida (if not the nation)! You will have an opportunity to paddle 4 wonderful rivers experiencing wild Florida at its best. The Silver Springs State Park Campground offers a great central location to our river adventures in addition to providing excellent camping and cabin accommodations. If you are not camping at the State Park. numerous motel accommodations and other campgrounds are nearby. We welcome you to North Central Florida for a fun weekend on the rivers and socializing with fellow paddling enthusiasts at the Florida Paddle Rendezvous 2017!

October 27

October 28

October 29
Morning 9am
River Trips
River Trips
Night River Trip
River Trips
River Trips
Night River Trip
9am River Trips
Afternoon 4-6pm Happy Hour Socializing at Pavilions 4-6pm Happy Hour Socializing at Pavilions 12pm Conclusion of Rendezvous
Evening 6pm
Sponsored BBQ Dinner,
Musical Entertainment:
 Lucky Mud
Pot Luck Dinner,
 Dr. Bob Knight
of the Florida Springs Institute

Rendezvous Location and Event Coordinator

Silver Springs State Park Campground
Rendezvous Coordinator Contact
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Larry Wuest
Ocala, FL 34470
(513) 312-2447
(352) 236-7148

The central hub for the Florida Paddle Rendezvous 2017 will be at the Silver Springs State Park Campground Picnic Pavilions, located 1.1 miles East from the campground entrance.

Location Map
Click on the map for a printable pdf file showing highlights at the location
Map: 29.200148, -82.035939
Click on the coordinates to see the location in Google Maps

Sign in at the pavilions upon your arrival to get registration materials and sign insurance waiver.

Daily paddling destination information will be posted here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to our FAQs page

Paddling Information

Paddling Destinations

We have five wonderful river destinations to enjoy during the Rendezvous and will be offering guided paddling trips for each, twice daily on Friday and Saturday and once on Sunday.

Additionally, if you are arriving on Thursday you may wish to follow this self-guided trip:

Click on any destination to find more information.  If you still have questions, please email rendezvous2017.info@vckc.net.

Juniper Creek

Juniper Creek, located in Ocala National Forest, offers a uniquely challenging but rewarding paddling experience. The creek starts out as a winding narrow tree canopied channel that widens as it passes through a lush semi-tropical forest. The creek is crystal clear water originating from Juniper Springs and Fern Hammock Springs that passes over a white sandy bottom. Keep an eye out for the sand boils near the put in. The spring waters create submarine sandy volcanoes as the water pours out of the creek bottom.  Due to the fast water flow, the upper section is quite challenging for inexperienced paddlers navigating the winding channel and low overhanging branches. With patience and attentive paddling this is a wonderfully rewarding paddling experience and a justified top paddling destination in Florida.

Ocklawaha River

We will be paddling two sections of the Ocklawaha River (Ray Wayside Park to Gores Landing, and Gores Landing to Eureka) both equally beautiful and rewarding paddles. The Ocklawaha River gets most of its water from the Silver Springs and therefore retains some degree of spring water clarity along its passage. These sections of the river were not impacted by the Cross Florida Barge Canal and still retain their wild beauty. The winding channel of the Ocklawaha is captivating and is hard to imagine that river steam boats plied its channel over a 100 years ago bringing tourists and trade to central Florida before the railroads arrival. The Ocklawaha is your time portal to old Florida.

Silver River

Silver River is one of Florida's classic paddling destinations and one of the oldest tourist attractions dating back to the late 1800's. Silver Springs is the largest artesian spring in the world. The iconic glass bottom boats are the signature craft on Silver River. If the beautiful crystalline and aquamarine waters do not take your breath away, the abundance of wildlife will. Silver River seems to be a magnet for both native and exotic wildlife. Keep an eye out for the roving wild monkeys roaming the shoreline! The abundant waters flowing from the multiple spring vents offer paddlers a welcome push downstream making your passage as effort free as possible (excluding headwinds of course!).

Rainbow River

Rainbow River is another classic spring fed river in north central Florida. During the summer months the Rainbow River is a very popular tubing run; however, during the fall months the river will be virtually tube free and a paradise for paddlers. Although there is development along most of the route along the west bank, it does not detract from enjoying the crystal clear waters. If the weather is warm enough, you might want to exchange your boat for a tube and casually float downstream!


Shuttle Logistics

All participants meet at Silver Springs State Park main entrance (5656 East Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, Florida) parking lot (SW corner) for shuttle meetup and departures at designated times.

Meeting Location: 29.213917, -82.056189

Shuttles will be coordinated by each group leader
Renters will coordinate with outfitter for parking and shuttle details.
We will leave as many Private Boat Owner (PBO) cars as possible at the Take Out and shuttle back to the Put In.

Overnight Accommodations

If you would like to join us for the weekend consider either of the following options.  Call ahead to make reservations and be sure to check on cancellation policies. 

Silver Springs State Park Campground
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470
(352) 236-7148
Camping Options:
Tent, RV with water and electric hookups, Cabins
Main Campground Reservations:
Reserve America Customer Service - 1-888-622-9190

Silver Springs State Park has blocked out camping sites for the Florida Paddlers' Rendezvous.

Main Campground is fully reserved. Camping sites are only available for Primitive Camping Area.

Please follow these instructions for making camping reservations:

Rendezvous reservations must be done through Reserve America Customer Service not their call center. To ensure your call is directed to customer service remain on the line without entering any telephone key entry changes. Sometimes the customer service number is busy and the call may be automatically redirected to their call center. The Call Center reservation agents cannot make any Rendezvous reservations since their computer system indicates all campsites/cabins are reserved. If this were to happen, request to be transferred to Customer Service.

Upon reaching the Customer Service agent, provide them with the following Rendezvous reservation information:

  1. Event Number: 504079522
  2. Event Name: Paddle Rendezvous 2017
  3. Location: Silver Springs State Park
  4. If Florida resident and 65 or older, camping rate is 1/2 price....please inform customer service agent
29.201021, -82.050774

Primitive Camping:
We have reserved a group primitive camping area at Silver Springs State Park. The primitive campground as its name implies is lacking in amenities with only a compost toilet. No potable water is available. This camping area is 2.5 miles from the main campground and is accessed by another entrance. We encourage you to camp in the main campground, but if you desire primitive camping it will be available for Rendezvous participants. Camping fee is $5 per night (age 16 years and older) and $1 per night (age less than 16 years). Camping fees will be paid to Rendezvous organizers at Rendezvous check in at Main Campground Picnic Pavilion.
Primitive Campground Reservations:
Primitive camping reservations can be made by email
Please indicate number of campers and ages.

  Lodging 1

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs
5360 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Silver Springs, FL 34488
(352) 304-6111
Distance from Campground:
1.4 miles, approximately 4 minutes travel time.
29.214248, -82.058642

Lodging 2
Days Inn Silver Springs/Ocala East
5751 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Silver Springs, FL 34488
(352) 236-2575
Distance from Campground:
1.6 miles, approximately 4 minutes travel time.
29.218992, -82.054062

Lodging 3
Silver River Inn
5565 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Silver Springs, FL 34488
(352) 236-2616
Distance from Campground:
1.4 miles, approximately 4 minutes travel time
29.217945, -82.057377

Other Lodging
For more lodging and camping options in the Silver Springs/Ocala area, click here

Social Gathering /Dinners / Entertainment

Three covered pavilions will be the focus for nightly dining, entertainment, after paddle socializing and information.

Friday, October 27th:

BBQ Dinner by Sonny's BBQ Ocala sponsored by Florida Paddling Trails Association

  • Pulled Pork
  • Smoked Turkey
  • Home style Macaroni & Cheese
  • Potato Salad
  • Green Beans
  • Dessert
  • Tea / Water

Evening Musical Entertainment - Lucky Mud

Saturday, October 28th:

Group Pot Luck

  • Bring your favorite entree, side item, salad or desert to share with your fellow paddlers
  • Water will be provided, or bring your favorite beverage
  • Plates and cutlery provided
Evening Speaker - Dr. Bob Knight, Florida Springs Institute

Rendezvous Sign Up

Event Registration

Online registration (hosted on EventBrite.com), payment and paddle trip reservations will be available until Wednesday, October 25th, 2017.  

The Florida Paddlers Rendezvous 2017 registration fee is $29.99, which includes the following:

  • Daily guided paddling trips
  • Friday BBQ Dinner
  • Nightly Entertainment
  • US Canoe Assn Insurance

Note: Rendezvous registration fee does not include admission to Silver Springs State Park. If you are camping at Silver Springs State Park, your camping fee includes park admission.

If you are staying outside the park, you will be required to pay daily park admission ($8 per vehicle). State Park Annual Pass holders have free park access.

Renters, please reserve your boat before signing up.

All participants are required to have US Canoe Association insurance coverage (provided in registration fee).


If you must cancel after you've signed up, please email our registrations coordinator at rendezvous2017@vckc.net

Be sure to check our website before leaving home. Since we are still in the Hurricane season, there's the possibility of major inclement weather and possible cancellation of the event. If severely negative weather potentially impacts the area, we will contact all Rendezvous registered participants to provide event cancellation details.


If you do not own a boat, we have coordinated with local kayak rental outfitters to provide rental boats for most of the Rendezvous paddle outings. Click on the individual river destinations listed above for details of kayak rental outfitters serving each river.

Rentals must be arranged directly with the outfitter, on a first-come, first-served basis. Members should make reservations before signing up for the trip to make sure a kayak is available.

You are responsible for coordinating and payment of rental boats with the outfitter.  Be sure you let them know you are participating in the Florida Paddle Rendezvous.