Your guide to Wekiwa Springs kayaking and canoeing
The sun is shining. Temps are soaring. Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore all Central Florida has to offer…and bonus points if that exploring takes you to some refreshing waters. The perfect Orlando kayak option? Kayaking Wekiwa Springs!
If you’ve never been to these popular Orlando springs before, it’s a true peek at the real Florida. Water bubbles up from the springhead and flows down the gorgeous Wild & Scenic Wekiva River, past our riverside watering hole at Wekiva Island and eventually to the St. Johns River and out to the ocean.
Even if you’re a pro, you know there are dozens of routes to explore and something different to see every time. No matter your experience level, we think a Wekiwa Springs kayaking or canoeing adventure is something everyone should experience. To help you prepare, we wanted to provide you with some of our best tips for Wekiwa Springs kayaking and canoeing. Check them out below.
The first choice you have to make when taking on Wekiva River kayaking is where you want to launch. Whether you have your own vessel or need a Wekiwa Springs kayak rental, you have some options. First and foremost, we offer great rental options right here at Wekiva Island. We rent by the day, not the hour, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore to your heart’s content. We also do allow you to launch your own vessel for $10 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Depending on your route, you can also look at launching or renting from Wekiwa Springs State Park or a number of other points along the river.
Planning your route
Once you decide where you’re launching from, you will need to put some thought into planning your route. If you’re just starting out, one excellent route we recommend from Wekiva Island is the short, one-mile paddle up river to the state park. It’s a great length to start to understand how to maneuver your kayak or canoe, and you can pay the entrance fee and take a break when you arrive.
If you’re launching from the park or Wekiva Island, you can also check out this map to plan your route. From the Island, you can head toward the park and explore some of the Rock Springs Run. Or, if you’re looking for a little more adventure, turn right out of the Island and head down the river. You will have free reign to paddle as far as you like and can see some great sites…just don’t forget that the river is not a circle! However far you paddle down, you will have to paddle back, and you’ll be against the current then.
What to bring
Once you have your route set, you’ll know how long you plan to be out on the river. That means you might like to bring along some supplies to stay safe and comfortable.
Clothing to keep cool but covered is a great choice, and sunglasses or a hat and sunscreen is a must. Water is also key, especially if you plan to be out for several hours. Kayaking is a workout, after all!
If you’re launching from Wekiva Island, we do allow you to bring a small cooler with food and drinks onto your vessel, but you must consume it while on the river, not from our shores. Alcohol is never allowed on the river.
Forget something? Paddle over to see us at Wekiva Island and visit our General Store to stock up, or plan to grab a bite from Without a Paddle Café or a drink at our bar before continuing on your journey.
What to watch for
Now that you’re ready for your kayaking adventure, be sure to stop and truly take it in once in a while. Notice how the water ripples with your paddles, or how you can see the sandy bottom through the crystal-clear spring water.
There is so much wildlife to watch for, too, from herons and egrets to fish, turtles, otters, and yes, alligators. It’s always best to stay vigilant and give wildlife plenty of space. This is their home, after all!
A trip on the Wekiva River is always different, and it’s a gift to see so many beautiful species in their natural habitat.
Ready to get out there? However you choose to plan your trip, we know you will have an amazing time. The beauty of the Wekiva River is why we’re here at Wekiva Island, and we absolutely love getting out in a kayak to explore. We hope you’ll stop by on your adventure!