Rainbow River up and back - Level III

  • 03 Jul 2019
  • 8:30 AM
  • Dunnellon Public Boat Ramp, Marion County


  • An advanced paddle up and down stream.

Registration is closed

Trip leader: Therese Eby, therese@tbsk.club, 425-802-2281

Description: Meet at the Dunnellon public boat ramp on the Withlacoochee River. Paddle upstream to Rainbow Springs (fourth highest discharge in FL). Have lunch at the canoe landing at the state park, and return. Total distance about 13 miles, half against a light current (1-2mph). The Rainbow River is a Registered National Landmark, an Aquatic Preserve, and an Outstanding Florida Waterway. The headwaters, Rainbow Springs, is comprised of numerous vents in the karst scattered over 1.5 miles, issuing 400-600 million gallons/day of clear 72F water. The river gently winds its way from the headwaters for six miles before feeding into the Withalacoochee River. Near that junction it becomes blackwater. Houses line the first couple miles, then moss-draped cypress. Fish and birds are plentiful.

Before DisneyWorld and I-75 diverted customers away, the springs were developed as a tourist attraction, with glass-bottomed boats and tree-level monorails. It became a state park in 1995.

Location: Dunnellon Public Boat Ramp, 12189 South Williams Street (Highway 41) County Marion City Dunnellon. No fee. Restrooms.

Schedule: Wed, July 3 meet time- 08:30 am , launch time- 09:00 am , approximate return time- 02:00 pm

Additional information: To reduce litter, no disposable bottles, plastic bags or snack bags allowed per county rules. Landing in the state park is prohibited everywhere except the designated canoe landing to protect the shoreline. Bring a snorkel mask if you want to explore beneath the water. Camping is available at Ross Prairie Trailhead and Campground.

Difficulty: Level III (distance)

Required / suggested: 15+ ft kayak, PFD, hat, lunch, water

See the Skills Self Assessment Chart on the web site and contact the leader with any questions. Please register (or cancel) on the web site or RSVP to the trip leader to allow notification of any changes.


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