Escape the Mousetrap

Ditch the Fake Log, Try a Canoe Instead
Mind the 'Gators

Alligator attacks on human beings are rare in Florida, but they do happen. Take the following precautions whenever venturing into their habitat:

Avoid coming between an adult alligator and its offspring (if you've mistakenly done so, you'll hear a loud hissing sound—scram!).

Never feed an alligator (it's dangerous and illegal).

Maintain a respectful distance, just as you would from any animal in the wild.

The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission maintains an excellent Web page on alligator safety tips.

Go Guide: Wekiva River

Directions: Katie's Landing is 22 miles from downtown Orlando. From Orlando, take I-4 to Eastto State Road 46. Go left (west) on State Road 46 for 5 miles to Wekiva Park Drive. Turn right and go one mile to the entrance to the Landing.

Cost: Including equipment and shuttle service, the tab is $16.50 a person. Katie's also rents canoes by the hour ($14.50 for first two hours, $.50 for each additional 15 minutes) or the day ($25).

For more information: Contact Katie's Wekiva River Landing, 190 Katie's Cove, Sanford, FL 32771; (407) 628-1482.


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.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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