Wacissa River: a beautiful, wide-open, spring-fed river
The Wacissa River is fed by over 20 springs and provides a great home for a variety of birds.
The crystal clear waters of the Wacissa River flow though the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area, which protects the waterway from development. For much of the river's length, it is over 200 feet wide, but in other sections, it resembles a river delta with multiple narrow channels. When in doubt, go with the flow.
If you are on the lookout, you can spot several spring runs on your ride down the river. Most of the over twenty springs on the Wacissa are within a mile of the Wacissa Springs boat laucnch.
The full run from the Wacissa Springs Boat Ramp to Goose Pasture is about 10.5 miles, which might be a bit long for some beginning paddlers. The current on the river is not too strong for out-and-back paddles, which might be a good idea for many and would allow for skipping the long shuttle to Goose Pasture and back. If you want to see the springs, then you definitely want to launch at the upper end of the river.
Consider checking the winds if you are paddling the full length of the river. In the summer months, we often have strong southerly winds, which means you would be paddling right into them. Given that much of the river provides little protection against the wind, you might find yourself being blown backwards if you stop paddling.
We would also be remiss if we didn't warn about the possibility of encountering air boats. I don't know how often they are on the Wacissa , but I have heard multiple stories and encountered them here firsthand on a summer weekday paddle. This is definitely not a fond memory. I won't go into details, but I am not exaggerating when I say that you have to stop paddling and cover your ears or risk permanent hearing loss.
River Miles reflect the approximate distances from the previous launch site.
LAUNCH SITE MAP (See next section for clickable directions)
Open the map for information on the river's springs.
I like this dry bag because it has shoulder straps and a water bottle pocket. I've been hauling this a lot lately.
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