Escape the Mousetrap
Instead of : Splash Mountain
Try: Paddling Little Wekiva River
"They've found saber-toothed cats and giant sloth fossils along this river," Jared, then seven years old, informed us.
Jared had been reading up on Central Florda's Wekiva River. His hot scoop piqued the interest of the youngest members of our group who kept their eyes trained on the banks of the river in search of prehistoric treasures.
Fossil hunting aside, a canoe trip down the Wekiva is a pleasant escape from theme-park hordes. The upper portion of the river is an aquatic preserve. The wide lower section is a magnet for local pleasure boaters, who zip around the tiny islands dotting its waters.
We like to begin trips at the quieter, pristine Little Wekiva River. We rent canoes at Katie's Landing, the only public access to Little Wekiva, and snake our way down the curvy, narrow waters, on the lookout for 'gators and low-hanging branches. The river is fast-moving, making it an easy four-mile paddle (perfect for families) before it empties into the busier and bigger Wekiva River. The entire trip is nine miles and should take about five to six hours. Allow more time for swimming breaks and fossil hunting.
Contact Katie's Wekiva River Landing for current canoe rental information.
Article © Diane Bair and Pamela Wright
Special thanks to Katie's Landing for the use of their photo.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication