10 - Ocklawaha Loop

 

Put In: Lat/Long 29°30’22"/81°48’25"

            Southwest corner of Rodman Dam

Take Out: Same as Put In

Distance: 2.5 miles

Planned Stops: None

Difficulty: Beginner

Estimated Time:  2 hours

Narrative Description: This short trip is a favorite of the Putnam Blueways & Trails.  The put-in is a dirt ramp at the location of the original channel before the Kirkpatrick Dam. There is plenty of parking and restrooms are available on both sides of the spillway. There are no take-outs on this section of the Ocklawaha.

Part of the paddle is on the spillway channel which is always flowing away from the dam. This is a wide and deep channel that is frequented by fishermen in motorized boats so stay near the shoreline.  Wind can be a concern in this section. About half a mile downstream the original channel is on the right.  The river is narrow with many over-hangs and snags. There is little to no current in this section.  There are many turns and twists.

The natural landscapes are mostly hydric hammocks and flatwoods, with scrub pine ridges and sugar sand banks. There are small springs along the river – you can find them if you look and listen. There are gators, cooters, snakes, otters, herons, kingfishers, ospreys and eagles on the route.  

 

 

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