Get Up and Go Kayaking - Rock Springs

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Posted 2023-03-26 by Gail Clifford MDfollow

The Wekiva River, which starts at the nearby Dr. Howard A. Kelly Park is rated the number one paddle run in Central Florida, and it's no surprise why. Rock Creek Springs from which it flows is a beautiful and historic location in the heart of Florida. The area is known for its crystal-clear waters, lush vegetation, and rich history that dates back thousands of years. Visitors to the area can enjoy a glass-bottom kayak tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking , which allows them to explore the riverbed and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. "Regular" kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also available.

King's Landing in Apopka, Florida has been a beloved spot for outdoor enthusiasts for decades. This spot on the Wekiva River was severely damaged during the 2004-2005 hurricane season and the landing remained closed for a long time. Fortunately, the property was saved from developers by owners Bob and Steven Loomis, who were passionate about restoring and preserving King's Landing for the public.

The history of Rock Creek Springs can be traced back to the ancient Native American tribes that once inhabited the region. The springs were a source of fresh water and food and were used for religious and ceremonial purposes. The area was later settled by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, and then by American pioneers in the 19th century.

Leaving the dock, you may be suspicious of the "crystal-clear" waters you've heard so much about. It's murky here, but wait until you reach "The Lobby" and you'll see exactly what you were waiting for.

As you paddle down the Wekiva River, you'll be transported to a world of quiet except for the sound of rushing water, birds chirping, people laughing, and the occasional splash of a fish.

The vegetation in the area is rich and diverse, with a variety of plant species that are unique to the region including the bald cypress. Other common plant species in the area include the Sabal Palm, the Live Oak, and the Spanish Moss. The lush vegetation provides a beautiful backdrop for the glass-bottom kayak tour, and visitors can take in the sights and sounds of the natural world as they glide across the water.

The glass bottom kayak tour is an experience that is truly unique to Rock Creek Springs. The kayaks are equipped with a glass bottom that allows visitors to see the crystal-clear waters below. The tour is led by experienced guides, such as Megan, who is relatively new to the area but already knowledgeable about the history and ecology of the area. After a safety briefing and review of kayak procedures, visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the region, as well as the history of the Native American tribes and pioneers who once called Rock Creek Springs home.

Megan's five-star service included regaling us with stories about Dr. Howard A. Kelly, one of the founders of Johns Hopkins Hospital, who left this land wild for us to enjoy a hundred years later. She's such a font of information (pun intended) she was able to tell us the average river flow is 26,000 gallons per minute. That's a party stumper. It maintains a temperature near 68F (20C).

As visitors kayak over the riverbed, they will feel as though they have slipped back in time. The natural beauty of the area is untouched by modern development, and the peacefulness of the river provides a sense of calm and tranquility. The gentle sound of the water and the rustling of the leaves overhead create a serene atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and reflection.

One of the highlights of the glass bottom kayak tour is the opportunity to see the underwater world of Rock Creek Springs. The crystal-clear waters provide a window into the world beneath the surface, where visitors can see a variety of fish and other aquatic creatures. The area is known for its diverse marine life, including turtles, bass, and catfish. Visitors can also see the underwater vegetation, which includes water lilies, moss, and algae. There's even hyacinth, not native to this area and unable to be removed as quickly as it grows, choking out the native species. We picked some up on our rudder and chose the option to dispose of it after we exited the river.

Jumping into the river from a tree trunk or branch is a thrilling experience that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Visitors can choose from a variety of jump-off points, including the sturdy 100-year-old cypress tree trunk in the middle of the river at the first stop or a thick tree branch that hangs over the water at the second stop where we also spotted a turtle.

Before taking the plunge, it is important to make sure that the water is deep enough and that there are no obstacles or hazards in the area. Visitors can ask their guide to help identify the best jumping spots and ensure that the area is safe for jumping.

Once you find the perfect spot, take a deep breath, and jump feet first into the cool waters below. As you jump into the water, you have just seconds to take in the sights and sounds of birds, including a white heron watching peacefully from the shore, the wind spiraling the lush vegetation and the gentle flow of the river.

The feeling of the water rushing up to meet you is exhilarating, and the refreshing sensation of the cool water is a welcome relief from the heat of the day.

Megan's such a great sport, she climbed the tree to take the big plunge into the river. We felt fortunate to have her as our guide. Informative, funny, and super safe. It's a great combination for a guide.

In addition to the glass bottom kayak tour, there are many other activities to enjoy in Rock Creek Springs. Visitors can hike through the nature trails, swim in the cool waters of the springs, or simply relax on the banks of the river. There are also picnic areas, teepees, and campsites available for those who want to spend more time in the area.

The glass bottom kayak tour at Rock Creek Springs is an experience that should not be missed. The natural beauty of the area, combined with the rich history and diverse vegetation, creates a unique and unforgettable adventure. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world, while also learning about the history and ecology of the region. Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful and relaxing escape, Rock Creek Springs is the perfect destination.

So go ahead, wear your swimsuit, take the plunge, and enjoy all that Rock Creek Springs has to offer!

King's Landing is the perfect escape from the busy and hectic rush of the rest of the world. It's a gem in the heart of Apopka, and a spot that should be treasured and preserved for years to come.

We were hosted by Get Up and Go Kayaking, which I greatly appreciate. All the opinions contained herein are my own.

93913 - 2023-06-12 01:05:05


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