Silver River Trip Report

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Al Letch | VCKC
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2005

DATE: June 28, 2005

NUMBER OF PADDLERS: 61 (21 Rental Canoes, 4 Rental single Kayaks, 15 in private boats). Two canoes were cancelled due to illness or injury.

TRAVEL TIME: From Mulberry Center to Ray Wayside Landing took only 35-40 minutes.

TRIP LENGTH: The trip from Ray Wayside Landing to the Silver Springs attraction area is about 5 miles each way. Those that completed the entire trip took between 3 and 4 ½ hours. Not everyone completed the trip, but did what distance they were comfortable with. All made it to the Silver River Campground pullout, about 60% of the total distance.


Equipment was provided by Bruce Beckwith of Florida Pack & Paddle. He was on time with the equipment and entry into the river was an easy and orderly process. He has 4 new Wenonah Kevlar canoes, along with his fiberglass canoes and kayaks. All appeared to be in decent condition.


Despite torrential rains the previous evening, the day dawned mostly cloudy, warm and humid. The sun peeked in and out during the paddle, but was never that strong as to cause a problem. A nice little breeze kicked up during the run down river. Maximum temperature was in the mid 80's.


The Silver is one of the favorite paddles for Club Members, and this trip did not disappoint. There was a significant amount of high water from local run off, combined with the strong current provided by the hundreds of millions of gallons of spring waters. It was a bit of a push up stream, but a good percentage stuck to it and made the full trip. Others realized their limits, and turned back after a good day's outing. All were rewarded with the magnificent scenery of the Silver. It was not difficult to imagine that it appears now as it must have a thousand years ago, a wild and beautiful place, untouched by development, with the exception, of course, of the Silver Spring Attraction.

Even that was kind of neat too, as we paddled among the glass bottom boats and over the head waters of the incredibly clear springs. You could see down 80 feet or more like looking through glass.


There were many beautiful birds, including hawks, ibis, herons, anhinga, turkey buzzards, wood ducks and more. Fish were jumping all over the place, and we saw lots of gar, bass and smaller fish. We spotted at least 6 major sized gators, including 2 that crossed directly in front of the boat. The only monkeys that we spotted this time were in the cage at the attraction! Oh yeh, lots of turtles!


I would rate this as solid 7or 8 out of 10. It was not an easy paddle, fighting a pretty strong current up stream. The return trip was less difficult, but we were happy enough to clamber out of the canoe at the end of the trip!

Our lunch stop was at the Island Seafood Eatery on Route 40 near Silver Spring. The food was very good and reasonable, and when was the last time they served you a 32 oz beer mug!

Thanks to a great group of paddlers who participated on this trip!

Al Letch

Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008

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