A half-hour drive east of Tallahassee lies the headwaters of the Wacissa River, perhaps the premier attraction of the Panhandle region for paddling enthusiasts.
Fed by a network of 12 known (and several more rumored) springs emerging from the Florida aquifer and feeding a spectacularly clear and ecologically rich river system, this regional wilderness jewel provides paddlers the opportunity to experience an extensive natural terrarium/aquarium saturated with biodiversity.
Alligators, river otters, kestrels, anhinga, gar, mullet, black bear, owls and more make regular appearances on one of Florida’s healthiest waterways. Starting upriver, trippers can swim, snorkel and paddle springs like Cassidy, Buzzard Log Little and Big Blue, before continuing down the crystal-clear waters laden with eel grass and water hyacinths, under canopies of Spanish moss and air plants, and on through an interwoven network of islands created as the river takes multiple paths in its journey to the Gulf.
Ten miles downriver the trip ends at Goose Pasture, a primitive campground that allows the opportunity to spend the night and paddle on in the morning.
All prices include kayak, PFD, whistle, paddle and bottled water. Consider bringing your own wide-brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses, snacks/drinks, sunscreen and bug spray.