Juniper Creek - Florida Paddlers Rendezvous 2017

Options: Back 
Head Spring to FL 19 Bridge

Location Photo
Juniper Creek

Juniper Creek Trip PlanClick on the pdf icon to print or download a quick reference sheet for this trip.

Paddling Destination Details

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 waters 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.

River Rating
: Extensive maneuvering in the beginning with relaxing paddling in middle to end sections.

Scenery Rating : Superb. Beautiful narrow creek at upper section, lower section offers wider scenic paddling.

Trip Length : 7 miles, approximately 4 hours.

Skill Level : Intermediate.  Must be able to perform forward and sweep strokes, basic sculling stroke, with good balance/stability in the boat.  Should possess some experience in light to moderate current and with navigation around deadfall, with ability to paddle steadily for about 3 or more hours.   

Wind Impact/Issues : Minimal

Current : Fast in upper section

Locations, Directions and Times

Put-In Location:  
Juniper Springs Recreation Area
26701 FL 40
Silver Springs, FL 34488

Admission Fee: $5 per person
Departure Times:
9 AM and 10 AM
Distance from The Silver Springs State Park Parking Lot:
22.2 miles; approximately 25 minutes travel time.
29.180832, -81.712851

Rest Rooms Availability:

Put-in and Take-out

Take-out Location:
FL 19 Bridge
4065 FL 19
Fort McCoy, FL 32134

Note: Very limited parking is available. We strongly encourage carpooling and/or use Park fee shuttle service provided by the Park kayak rental outfitter.
Details of Outfitter shuttle information listed below in Option 2 Trip Shuttle Logistics,

29.213006 -81.655546

Shuttle Directions:

Juniper Springs Recreation Area to FL 19 Bridge
Distance from Put-In:

8 miles; approximately 9 minutes travel time
Map and Directions:
29.213006 -81.655546

Note: Please use Google Maps as the default Internet mapping service for trip location and routing. Usage of other Internet mapping services (i.e. Yahoo, Bing, etc.) may result in possible incorrect addresses using the street address location. The use of geographic coordinates (i.e. latitude/longitude) will provide correct location regardless of Internet mapping services.

Trip Shuttle Logistics

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

Meeting Location: 29.213917, -82.056189

The shuttle will be coordinated by the trip leader.

The Juniper Creek take out parking area is very small with a capacity of only 12 vehicles. Due to this situation, there are two options for the shuttle for this trip

  • Option 1: Leave as many cars as possible at the Take Out and shuttle back to the Put In. Participants who cannot leave their vehicle at the takeout will  ride back with one of the participants who parked at the take out returning to the put in to retrieve their vehicle.
  • Option 2: Use Juniper Springs boat rental outfitter's shuttle services. The outfitter shuttle service fee is $10.60 per person and additional $10.60 per boat plus deposit. The pickup times at the FL 19 bridge take out is: 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM.  Participants using the outfitter's shuttle service must arrange and pay for services at the concessionaire building at Juniper Springs Recreation area before launching their boat at the put in.


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. 


Juniper Springs Recreation Area

(352) 625-2808

Equipment & Costs:

  • Single kayaks - $37.10 + Deposit
  • Tandem - $42.40 + Deposit
Credit Cards are accepted.
Price includes boat rental, paddle, PFD and personal transportation back to your vehicle at Put In.

Please be aware of the outfitter's cancellation policy so you do not incur costs for not showing.

Personal Equipment

It is each participant's own responsibility to come properly equipped for safety and comfort.

Note: Paddlers on Juniper Creek are prohibited from bringing on the water the following items:

  • Pets
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Disposable beverage containers
  • Disposable Food wrappers - Transfer food items in "Tupperware" type containers

Mandatory Items

  • Personal Flotation Device  (provided by outfitter with rentals)
    The COAST GUARD requires  paddlers to wear or carry a PFD while on the water;
    To be covered by the club's insurance policy, paddlers must WEAR their PFD. 
  • Whistle (provided by outfitter with rental) required by Coast Guard

Recommended Items

  • Water (minimum - 1 quart of water per person)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Rescue rope (minimum 10 ft)
  • Bailer and sponge