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The canoe trip from Juniper Springs Recreation Area to Juniper Wayside flows about 7 miles through the heart of the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. You will be surrounded by a lush tropical forest comprised of palms, cypress and many kinds of southern hardwoods. The first 2.5 miles of this creek are narrow and winding, with a channel scarcely wider than 6 feet. Past Half-Way Landing, the stream broadens out and becomes shallow and slow moving. There are no intermediate access points, and the average family takes about 4-5 hours to complete the trip.
Cost to enter the park is $5 per person. Cooler checks are conducted at launch point to ensure that no "illegal containers" such as plastic water bottles or aluminum cans are inside.
We still found trash and debris that we would collect out of the water and plant life to do our part to make sure our beautiful Florida waterways do not get polluted nor contaminated.
Finds for the day: 3 flip flops, a ball cap, 4 water bottles, 3 aluminum cans, a bottle of Xanax (um, yeah) and quite a few of those plastic grocery bags which are a menace to aquatic life.
Updated Aug 16, 2010
Address: Silver Springs, Florida
Alligators and water moccasins are natives to this habitat, so please be mindful when you are near the banks.
You can spot 'gator trails' when you see vegetation that has been plowed down from a gator entering/exiting the water from that particular point over and over to the point that the area looks worn down and the trail recesses into the forest.
Water moccasins can be in overhanging branches so be mindful when ducking under trees and shrubbery that is in your path. Also, they coil along the root systems lining the banks so again - be aware they are there when you are close to the edge. I have had them swim alongside me as I paddle (and sometimes swim) and have been inches from them right where I was resting along some brush tucking my kayak in a root system to have lunch or take a break.
Both the Florida alligator and the water moccasin are aggressive reptiles, so do not be foolish enough to provoke them. Wisdom would be to avoid all snakes you may encounter, although not all snakes are poisonous and are simply a part of our eco-system and the great circle of life benefiting us with population control of pests such as mice. However, I have listed a website below to assist you in identifying your major reptilian threats when visiting our beautiful state.
Written Aug 15, 2010