Ocklawaha River - Florida Paddlers Rendezvous 2017

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Gores Landing Campground to Eureka

Location Photo
Ocklawaha River
Ocklawaha Trip Plan Click on the pdf icon to print or download a quick reference sheet for this trip.

Paddling Destination Details

Oclawaha River

The Ocklawaha River is a major tributary of the St. Johns River. It is one of the most scenic and serene rivers in North Central Florida and a favorite outing for local paddlers. Although the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River is Lake Griffin, the Silver River contributes a majority of water and flow to the Ocklawaha whose spring clear waters continue downstream.   Shortly after the Civil War. tourists began to explore Florida using the steamboats that traveled the St. Johns River from Jacksonville.  The primary destination was Silver Springs, but the passage through the narrow Ocklawaha was an added highlight.  This section of the river passes through the Ocala National Forest which accounts for its pristine wilderness setting and the river in this area was not destroyed by the ill fated Cross Florida Barge Canal project.

River Rating : Easy paddling

Scenery Rating : Excellent; lots of wildlife, including alligators. It's "Old Florida" at its best.

Trip Length : 8 miles, approximately 3 hours.

Skill Level: Beginner.  Should 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 hours.   

Wind Impact/Issues : Minimal

Current : Good current depending on rainfall.

Locations, Directions and Times

Put-In Location:  
Gores Landing Campground
13750 NE 98th St
Fort McCoy, FL 32134

Parking Fee: $5 per vehicle parked at Gores Landing
Shuttle Departure Times:
9 AM and 12 PM
Distance from The Silver Springs State Park Parking Lot:
12.9, approximately 19 minutes travel time.
29.289791, -81.926707

Rest Rooms Availability:

Put-in and Take-out

Take-out Location:
Eureka West Recreation Area Boat Ramp
15698 NE 152nd St
Fort McCoy, FL 32134

29.374297, -81.902123

Shuttle Directions:

Gores Landing Campground to Eureka West Recreation Area
Distance from Put-In:

7.7 miles; approximately 14 minutes travel time
Map and Directions:
29.374297, -81.902123

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.

Meeting Location: 29.213917, -82.056189

Shuttles will be coordinated by each group leader
Renters will leave their vehicles at Outfitter and will be shuttled to Put In by Outfitter.
We will leave as many cars as possible at the Take Out and shuttle back to 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. Be sure you let them know you are participating in the Florida Paddle Rendezvous.


Ocklawaha Outpost & Resort

(866) 236-4606

Equipment & Costs:

  • Single kayaks - $39.00 + Tax
  • Tandem - $59.00 + Tax

Credit Cards are accepted.

Price includes boat rental, paddle, PFD and personal transportation to 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.

Mandatory Items

  • Personal Flotation Device  (provided by outfitter with rentals) VCKC and the COAST GUARD require members to wear a PFD during the trip; the  PFD must be worn correctly at all times :  Buckled, zipped, etc., not hanging open
  • 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