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“Most amazing Kayaking experience ever - only downturn: motorboats that do not care” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Silver Springs River

Silver Springs River
Ocala, FL
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Ranked #5 of 12 Attractions in Ocala
Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Activities: Canoeing, Camping
Attraction details
Boston, MA
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Most amazing Kayaking experience ever - only downturn: motorboats that do not care”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We rented a canoe from the rangers station and spend about 4 hours on the river.
The tour was one of the best I ever made (did a lot of kayaking in the Everglades). First I was a bit skeptical about canoes vs. kayaks and I still prefer kayaking. But only canoes are for rent. You pay 7 usd per hour which is way less than any tour operator would charge you (thank you state park!).

The access to the river is "on your own", meaning that you get your paddles, swim vests and an optional cushion at the ranger station. After that you drive to the museum and then walk about a mile to the river, untie your canoe and drag it to the river. Believe me, you will sweat by then. No easy task if you are not able to carry a canoe over a distance of 50 to 100 meters towards the river.

But as soon as you get there the fun starts. We went straight to the left up the stream which was a good idea. You have to paddle against the stream while you are still energetic and you can float back easily later on.

Wildlife seeings were incredible, an alligator crossed the river in front of our boat, numerous birds, turtles and fish. We even spotted a monkey and an otter with a fish in his mouth while he dived alongside our canoe! The water is crystal clear and it feels like you are flying. Absolutely magical. But make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and enough water.

The only downturn are the motor boats and jet ski that are allowed on the river. About half of the drivers do not care about idle speed and the no wake policy. This makes it a bit stressful to canoe. I hope that the park rangers are able to enforce this much more in the future.

Visited June 2013
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English first
Ithaca, NY
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“a nice walk on a hot day”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

I didn't rent a canoe or anything...just walked a couple of the trails but it was pleasant and shady. My daughter got a tick here though.

Visited May 2013
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Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Loss of Glass Bottom Boat Tours”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I made a planned visit to Sliver Springs to go on the Glass Bottom Boat Tour. I check their web site and learned that there were rides, animals shows, shopping and food service....little did I know that all of this (except the boat ride) was gone by the 1st of May. We went at the end of May, $8 to park the car, and another $21 and tax per person to get into the park. All the rides were closed, all of the animals were gone, two gift shops and one burger place remained. Apparently there has been a problem with the State, County and Corporation that ran the park, so the corporation is leaving....however they apprently don't see fit to change their web site and warn folks. The employees are caught in the middle taking the flax from guests, which isn't right. They have a 'concert' season.... I would suggest a phone call before ordering tickets or coming down for a concert.

Visited May 2013
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Tavares, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“BAD ACCESS”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

Wanted to pontoon on River but access was horrible. Way way to steep for trailer and vehicle and getting off walkway onto boat was also very great distance Tree blocked much of downriver access. Didn't use at all.

Visited May 2013
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Gainesville, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great Way to Spend the day!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

We took a guided trip with Discovery Kayak Tours on the Silver River and it was amazing! The your began with a half mile walk to the launch pad followed by a safety lesson on how to kayak. Once launched you get a few minutes to get your bearings and then begin the paddle upstream- but don't worry the current is pretty lazy so not too much effort required.

Our guide, Tony, was knowledgable and great at spotting the wildlife. We saw alligators, turtles, a beautiful doe at rivers edge and countless birds. When we arrived at the head of the spring fed water we turned around and floated back down the river. Only a little paddling is required at this point and more time for pictures!

I highly recommend the guided tour for beginner kayakers and anyone new to the river. Discovery Kayak has many different types of tours including a half day Eco Tour. Ryan, the owner, is well organized and well versed in all things kayak.

The whole experience was tranquil and fun. What a gift for Mother's Day!

Visited May 2013
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