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kfp673

PA

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Posted: 11/16/20 06:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello All,

We are considering booking a last minute trip to FL in December. With 3 kids < 12 most of our trips to FL in the past have been Disney related but this would just be a warm weather get away. That said, it would be nice to be within a few hours drive of the parks in case we decide to take a 1 day trip. However, what we are really looking for is a suggestion of areas to camp where we could kayak on the spring feed rivers where the manatee's go. I have seen some beautiful pictures but am unsure of the specific areas. I checked Manatee Springs state park and that (and all other state parks) are sold out most of the winter. I can find sites at private parks but looking for suggested areas. Ideally we would be able to kayak from our campground, but with booking this late we can't be too picky, so even if we were within a 30-45 minute drive.

To recap, FL camping with hookups, within a few hours of Orlando, and within 30-45 minutes of good kayaking with manatees. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 11/16/20 07:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well what you are looking for are mostly in the Ocala National Forest. Alexander, Juniper and Salt Springs all federal parks. There some other possibilities: Rainbow Springs on the Rainbow River SP and Silver Springs SP on the Silver River. Most of the other state park springs have short runs or don't have campgrounds. Ichetucknee Springs SP has a fantastic run on the river but no campground but there are private cg nearby.
All of these parks have private cg nearby. All of these parks are about an hour or hour and a half from Orlando. There are other parks scattered further south but that is the main grouping.
Now I'm sure you are aware that these places are probably booked solid for the snowbird season. But I'm seeing reports that the lack of Canadians is opening spots since they cannot easily escape Canada right now. So that may open some spots.
I saw a report in the RV News that said Canadians are flying to Seattle and paying to have their RV's trucked across the border on flatbed semis. That works since the US isn't hunting them down and issuing $10,000 fines like Canada is doing. But that is just a trickle compared to the usual flood.


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azwildcat

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Posted: 11/16/20 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might try Twelve Oaks RV in Sanford. Probably booked pretty solid but you may be able to pick up some open time if you are flexible. Good Luck

rav

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Posted: 11/16/20 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Across from Silver Springs State Park is the Silver Springs Rv resort and many others. You could walk over to the Springs and rent kayaks.


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Guy Roan

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Posted: 11/17/20 04:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rav wrote:

Across from Silver Springs State Park is the Silver Springs Rv resort and many others. You could walk over to the Springs and rent kayaks.


You won't see manatees in Silver Springs or any in the Ocala National Forest spring runs

If you can find an RV park close to Blue Springs state Park, you are guaranteed to paddle with the Manatees there and in the Hontoon Dead River and the St Johns River

Check out our Google web sit under the "Springs Area"
It is https://sites.google.com/site/flkeyskayaktrips/

Guy

* This post was edited 11/17/20 04:51am by Guy Roan *

rav

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Posted: 11/17/20 05:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We saw several manatees last year and last week one was spotted near the glass bottom boat maintenance area.

Guy Roan

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Posted: 11/17/20 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rav wrote:

We saw several manatees last year and last week one was spotted near the glass bottom boat maintenance area.


They are strays and have to come all the way up the Oklawaha River to get there and are few and far between.

The Crystal River on the west coast is another prime place where you can be guaranteed to see them. Especially around the Three Sisters Springs area


Guy

agesilaus

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Posted: 11/17/20 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Manatee Springs SP is a prime location to spot Manatees but they have a short run to the Suwanee River and the park rangers will not let you put your boats in if there Manatees are near in the run or springs. The same is true at Blue Springs where the rangers we positively extreme about no boats or swimmers with Manatees. At Manatee Springs, which has two nice cg, you may be able to carry your kayaks down to the floating dock to launch them. There are big fines for interfering with the critters.

Guy Roan

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Posted: 11/17/20 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Manatee Springs SP is a prime location to spot Manatees but they have a short run to the Suwanee River and the park rangers will not let you put your boats in if there Manatees are near in the run or springs. The same is true at Blue Springs where the rangers we positively extreme about no boats or swimmers with Manatees. At Manatee Springs, which has two nice cg, you may be able to carry your kayaks down to the floating dock to launch them. There are big fines for interfering with the critters.


Yes but Blue springs flows into the Dead River and Hoontoon River and there are just as many there and nothing from stopping you from paddling there

Guy

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Posted: 11/17/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guy Roan wrote:

rav wrote:

Across from Silver Springs State Park is the Silver Springs Rv resort and many others. You could walk over to the Springs and rent kayaks.


You won't see manatees in Silver Springs or any in the Ocala National Forest spring runs

If you can find an RV park close to Blue Springs state Park, you are guaranteed to paddle with the Manatees there and in the Hontoon Dead River and the St Johns River

Check out our Google web sit under the "Springs Area"
It is https://sites.google.com/site/flkeyskayaktrips/

Guy

My friend, you are sadly mistaken. The greatest number of manatees will be found in the runs of springs. Silver Glen and salt springs run get several every winter. Blue Springs run at Blue Springs State Park have enormous populations of manatees every winter.





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