Kayaking & Camping On the Ocklawaha River

Stel Bailey The Advocates Voice staff
Published Jan. 3, 2022

The Ocklawaha River is one of the few rivers in the United States that flows south to north and is one of the most beautiful waterways in Florida. It is the largest tributary of the St. Johns River.

We met up with a group of Florida environmental advocates for a weekend camping trip to enjoy the outdoors and discuss ways to accomplish goals in protecting our ecosystem, wildlife, and health. 

We went during a cold front, and the weather fell into the 30s at night, which was challenging, but it quickly warmed up during the day. 

One morning we woke up before sunrise to load our kayaks into a van to be transported about eight miles through scenic backwoods and dropped off where our trip would begin. 

We unloaded the kayaks and put them in the water, where we began our journey into the scenic sunrise and cooling moist water vapor that condensed into a fog. Bundled in a beanie and pullover hoodie, we took every opportunity to linger in sun rays that poked through the trees for warmth. 

As we went downstream, traveling with a smooth current, we saw various wildlife along the river banks, including turtles and alligators. 

At one point, we drifted through an area where many species of birds, like swallow-tailed kits, Cooper's Hawks, and wild turkeys. We also saw rabbits and white-tailed deer. We found a private part of the river bank and took time to relax as chirping from birds echoed and water trickled. 

This trip could have been made in three hours, but we spent the entire day on the river. Once we arrived back at the campsite, we started a fire, cooked dinner, and spent the night around the fire, escaping from our regular routines to enjoy exploration and what we all love most, nature. Visit Ocklawaha Canoe Outpost & Resort to book your river trip and let them know you heard about them through Stel Bailey: https://www.outpostresort.com/rivermap.html

Fight for Zero

Our team brings passion and drive to take on environmental health challenges. Our mission is to inform, educate, share resources, and inspire action to protect natural resources.


  1. Why not tell us where to where....makes article useless

    1. Hello Annie, there is a link to the Ocklawaha Canoe Outpost & Resort and even a map showing our kayak trip. Thanks for the constructive criticism. To help us continue our work in water quality you can donate to https://www.fight4zero.org/donate

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