Earlier this year I went kayaking on the Chassahowitzka River for the first time and ended up paddling two hours in the wrong direction while trying to find my way to a spring called “The Crack”. After about 3.5 hours I finally made it, and although it was a royal pain in the ass getting there- it was totally worth the effort. It’s a beautiful little spot out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lush tropical foliage and crystal blue spring waters.
There are quite a few other springs along the Chassahowitzka which I unfortunately didn’t get to see on that trip because I spent the majority of the day being lost, so Rudy and I decided to head up there last weekend and check out some other places on the river.
We rented kayaks at the Chassahowitzka River Campground and were out on the water by about 10am. Our first stop was Seven Sisters Springs which was only a few minute paddle from where we launched. There are several underwater caves located in this area, and also a giant warning sign posted on a nearby tree alerting swimmers of the danger of swimming through the caves. Unfortunately more than one person has lost their life in the caves of the Chassahowitzka, with the most recent death being just a couple of years ago.
We saw a few other kayakers while we were at Seven Sisters, but for the most part we pretty much had the place to ourselves for the two or so hours that we were there. We took a ton of pictures and swam in the caves and then I got so cold that I started to turn blue and so we decided it would be a good time to hop back in our kayaks and head towards The Crack.
Here are some pics we took while at Seven Sisters…
To get to The Crack, you have to make a turn off of the river and then paddle really, really, really far back until it finally dead ends into the spring. Last time I was there, the water level was super low so I had to drag my kayak the last hundred or so feet, but this time we were able to paddle straight through. There are tons of birds, fish, turtles, and all kinds of other wildlife on the Chassahowitzka, making the long paddle back to The Crack an incredibly beautiful one.
When we finally made it back to the spring, we had the place to ourselves for about a half hour or so before we were joined by several other groups of kayakers. I had wanted to get some underwater pics at this spot, but the combination of cloudy skies and somewhat murky water put the kibosh on that idea, and so instead we spent the rest of the afternoon goofing around, taking pictures above water, and having ourselves a good old time…
Time always flies when Rudy and I are out exploring, and before we knew it, it was time to head back and return our kayaks. We never made it to any of the other springs on the river that day, but plan to head back to the Chaz soon and check them out.
The End. 🙂
I just returned from a road trip up to the Ocala National Forest where I visited Blue Springs, Juniper Springs, and Alexander Springs (all for the first time)! I took a ton of pictures and will have them all posted here later this week, so stay tuned… 🙂