The Alexander Springs Creek run begins at the Alexander Springs Campground in the beautiful Ocala National Forest. It eventually empties into the St. Johns River and has a current of approximately one mile per hour. It starts at the campground and crosses under County Road 445 and continues through wilderness area to a pickup point that is 7 miles from the campground. The trip is 4-5 hours long.
The campground opens at 8:00 A.M. daily and those desiring to take the 7 mile trip must register no later than 10am. Pick ups are at 2:30 and 4:30. A concession store is available for soft drinks, sandwiches, snacks, ice, cameras etc.
As we set off on our trip, we couldn't help but notice we were the only ones who paid for the entire trip and pick up. Hummmmm...
We enjoyed a nice swim under the 445 bridge before heading out for our trip. Immediately we came across a 6 foot gator resting on the banks. The water is crystal clear so you can see all kinds of fish and turtles under you.
Midway through the trip we came across an area that seemed impassable. Trees fallen to the left banks blocked our travel and cat tails on the right banks made paddling impossible. We headed back upstream thinking we missed a turn off. NO...we didn't. So, we headed back down about a mile and decided we would try to make our way through the cat tails. It was hard to do but we finally made it through. We must have been in those for about a half mile or so. I truly don't believe a beginner would want to challenge that obstacle. We were tired but enjoyed it nonetheless.
To locate the take-out dock you must stay to the right side of the run to see the dock. Once we located the dock, we had an hour left before pick up time so we paddled on for another 10 minutes or so to "Freak Creek Landing". If you have ever been there, you know why the locals call it that.
We swam around and cooled off then headed back upstream to the take out dock where we were met by the driver.
I recommend this trip to any experienced canoeist or kayaker but I do not recommend it for beginners.
Campground, showers, restrooms, store, swimming area, picnic areas.
Day use only is $4.00
Shuttle for you and your kayak or canoe is $12.00 plus tax.
In Lake County, from Altoona, FL go north on Hwy 19 to County Road CR445. Turn east on CR 445 and go approximately 5 miles east to the Alexander Springs Recreation Area Entrance. If coming on Hwy 40 turn south on Hwy 19 to CR 445 and then east approximately 5 miles to the Alexander Springs Recreation Area.