Juniper Run is the best river I have found to paddle in Central Florida. The water that runs through it is literally right our of the aquafer and is crystal clear. The upper half of the river has a white sand bottom that contrasts with a thick jungle canopy.
Bring your camera because anyone who tries can get some amazing pics. It is however not an easy paddle. It takes 4 hours to make the extraction point down river. The park service runs the pick up and were very helpful and nice.
You must launch before 1 PM so that you can make the pick up before the park closes. We took two sea kayaks. A Pygmy Coho and a Pygmy Artic Tern. Both are 18 foot sea kayaks and are probably not the best choice for this river because you have much manuvering to do around trees, stumps, sharp turns, etc. However, it can be done no problem. The lower half of the river even has a short section of rapids that is fun and a good change of pace. A strong current requires you pay attention to where you are going less you get hung up.
This is a very remote area in Fla. so I wouldn't do anything stupid like picking fights with alligators because if you got hurt I have no idea how they would get you out. That being said it is amazing. Wild life everywhere; it's like the Amazon, but on a small scale.
Bring someone from out of state to show them the real Florida.
Camp ground. Parking, Store that sells drinks, canoe rentals
25 bucks for the pick up service.
I-75 head east of 46 to Ocala National Forest. It's a straght shot. Takes like 25 mins from the I-75
no need. There is really nowhere on the river to get lost. Just head down stream and you will make the extraction point.