(Review added 08/15/13, last update 12/15)
This trip starts at the Alexander Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest. There is a campground, restrooms, picnic area, camp store and concession offering canoe rentals and shuttle service with pickup at CR 445. Alexander Springs is one of Florida’s 27 first-magnitude springs. The water is a constant 72°F and extraordinarily clear. The swimming area has a nice sand beach and there is a short nature trail that takes you through the floodplain forest to an observation deck overlooking the spring run.
The hand launch at Alexander Springs is immediately adjacent to the swimming area and is a short carry from the parking lot to the launch. If you have a heavy kayak bring your wheelies. The access point on CR 445 is accessed on the SE side of the bridge. It can be muddy after a rain, but it’s a very short carry from the water to your car. 52 Landing is accessed via FR 18 off of CR 445. It’s a dirt/sand forest road but is kept graded because of private property in the area. However, after a heavy rain it can be rutted and full of puddles. 4WD is not necessary, but low-slung vehicles probably should not attempt it after a rain. There is a circular drive at the launch for unloading and a large parking area nearby.
You can extend the trip another 3.5 miles by heading north on the St Johns River and taking out at one of the marinas in Astor.
The run from the Rec Area launch to CR 445 is mostly wide open. Bring sun screen and a wide-brimmed hat. Because it’s wide the current is gentle which allows for out-and-backs. Stick near the banks and admire the wildflowers and a variety of water and forest birds.
Below CR 445 the river becomes braided and is frequently clogged with hyacinth, water lilies and grasses. Expect a more challenging trip on this section and you’ll have fun wandering through the vegetation. If you’re lucky a power boat has gone through recently, clearing a path for you.
Near 52 Landing the waters open again and will be clear but winding until you hit the St Johns RIver.
00.0 Put-in at Alexander Springs Rec Area
01.4 Take-out at CR 445
03.0 Swim dock in creek
06.7 Take out at 52 Landing
08.4 Rope Swing/picnic stop
10.2 Low-water picnic spot
11.3 West end of bypass through Kimball Lake (can be clogged with vegetation)
11.8 East end of bypass through Kimball Lake
12.5 St Johns River
Click HERE to download Alexander Springs Creek Fact Sheet with mileage chart and directions to launch sites.
Click HERE to download Alexander Creek gpx file for your GPS unit.
Double-click to zoom in or use mouse scroll to zoom in and out. Drag to change location. Click on icons or river route for more info.