Met up with an out-of-state friend passing through Florida down at Crystal River. She only had time for a short trip so we paddled out to Three Sisters Springs then around the nearby canals. With the weather cooling off we saw lots of manatee and a few water birds.
If you have only a short time at Crystal River, we suggest you put in (or rent) at the Crystal River Kayak Co. dock. From there it is only a 10-minute paddle down canals to the entrance to 3 Sisters Springs. Depending on the weather you may or may not be able to paddle into the actual springs area. If you can’t there are ropes outside to tie off your kayak then you can wade/swim up the entrance into the springs area. However, when the weather gets very cold the Refuge may close off the area entirely so the manatee can rest without being disturbed.
Entering 3 Sister Springs area.
One manatee surfaced for a breath right next to me.
Manatee in 3 Sisters Springs
Manatee in 3 Sisters Springs
Immature Little Blue Heron (They turn blue near the end of their second year.)
Great Blue Heron
Another absolutely awesome day paddling on the springs section of the Suwannee River between Hal Adams and Ft Mccomb boat ramps with a group from the Florida Trail Association. We played at Telford Spring, Running Spring, Peacock Slough River Camp, the old Drew Bridge, had lunch at Bathtub Spring, then finished off swimming and wading at Royal Spring. The weather was perfect as was the company.
First stop – Telford Spring
A view up the Suwannee from the sand bank at Telford Spring.
Approaching to old Drew Bridge.
Enjoying lunch at Bathtub Spring.
Royal Spring – a perfect place to wade and swim
Looking down into Royal Spring from the boardwalk
Lovely day paddling yesterday with the Florida Trail Association on the Suwannee River. We did the 12 mile section on the middle Suwannee between Hal Adams and Ft Macomb boat ramps where there are with lots of interesting little springs to explore. The weather was perfect – sunny, cool with a little breeze. There are just so many beautiful places to visit in north Florida by boat.
My favorite Suwannee spring is on this section – Bathtub Spring. When the water is low it is quite a scramble from the river over the lime rocks, but it is a perfect swimming hole and lunch spot so it’s well worth the effort.
Root systems create a fairy tale vision. No trolls hiding in the myriad of twists, but turtles,small gators, nutria, otters, …
Typical scenery along this section on the middle Suwannee. Low limestone rock formations, trees with eroded roots overhanging the banks.
At Telford Spring we just had to try out the rope swing
Old Drew Bridge. When the railroad was abandoned in 1920, they left the Drew swing bridge in the river in an open position.
The kids (young and old) had fun at Bathtub Spring
Royal Springs – a perfect place to swim or wade on a warm afternoon.