Alafia River

Kayakers paddling through palm trees on the Weeki Wachee River.

Weeki Wachee River Paddling Trip

The Weeki Wachee River is one of the most popular rivers in Florida.  We avoid a lot of the crowds by launching at Bayport park instead of further upriver.  We enter the mouth of the river at the Gulf and paddle up the through the grassy marshes passing through the transitional areas of salt and freshwater mixing. Pass through palm tree forest.  

We have spotted dolphin and tons of manatee on this river.  Lunch at Rogers Park before heading up to the “hospital hole” where we hope to see more manatee. 

Weeki Wachee River

Step back in time and enjoy the classic mermaid show, but this quintessential Old Florida site is also home to the deepest freshwater cave system in the country and abundant protected wildlife.


Perhaps the best-known symbol of the yesteryear of Florida tourism, Weeki Wachee’s iconic mermaids perform in pure aquamarine water that flows from a first-magnitude spring. Kids and adults alike can splash and play against a background of stunning blues and greens, and a kayak trip down the spring run offers an escape into the quiet of nature.

In 2007, underwater explorers discovered new passages in the spring’s cave system and confirmed Weeki Wachee as the deepest known freshwater cave system in the United States, marking another unique feature of this classic Florida destination.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Built in 1947, Weeki Wachee Springs is one of Florida’s original roadside attractions and has been a member of the Florida State Park family since 2008.

The center of the park is a first-magnitude spring, where 117-million gallons of fresh spring water emit from the aquifer at the main-spring. This same spring is also home of the world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids, where live performances take place every day, and viewed by our park guests through the windows of a 400-seat theater, embedded into the spring.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has much to offer families of all ages. In addition to the mermaid performances, the park also offers a river boat ride, wildlife program, and swimming in the pristine waters at Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark. The park is still undergoing renovations, so we hope to have these activities open in the very near future.

If adventure is what you’re seeking, guests have the opportunity to kayak the tranquil waterway of the Weeki Wachee River through the services of our concessionaire, Weeki Fresh Water Adventures. This journey provides the natural beauty of the river, and the wildlife which inhabit it. Reservations are required to embark on this adventure.

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Paddling Locations