I finally got the chance to visit The Weeki Wachee River recently. It is the one of the most amazing rivers I’ve ever seen!
I rented a kayak at Weeki Wachee State Park and explored the 5.5 miles of river to Rogers Park. It was an incredible experience and one that I can’t wait to do again. If you love nature and want a place to escape the summer heat, this is the place for you!
BEST TIME TO GO
The best time to go to the Weeki Wachee River is during the hotter months (Spring through Fall) but the ideal time to go is when the river is less crowded (i.e. during the week when school is in session). In addition, if you plan to visit during the summer months you may want to consider starting earlier in the day. That way the late afternoon thunderstorms won’t be as much of a concern.
STATE PARK VS. ROGERS PARK
The State Park is located at the head spring approximately 5.5 miles away from Rogers Park. Here, you can rent single and double kayaks as well as launch your own paddle craft (Canoes, Kayaks and SUP’s). The State Park method is more regimented and harder to book during peak times. In addition, you must show up on time or you’ll be charged a $50 late fee. You are allowed two hours to complete your paddle and then the park bus picks you up at Rogers Park and drives you back to your car.
Conversely, Rogers Park consists of a public beach and boat ramp. The only issue here is parking and lots of people. In addition, if you launch at Rogers Park you’ll have to paddle against the current for the trip up-river. However, the big benefit to launching at Rogers Park is there are no time constraints and you can launch a motor boat if you want.
My suggestion is to utilize the State Park, especially, it it’s your first visit. The upper part of the river is the most beautiful and peaceful section in my opinion.
Yes, boats are allowed on the Weeki Wachee River but only on the section that’s not part of the State Park. It’s a sizable section however (i.e. 3.5 miles+). Of course, the entire river is idle speed only and the smaller the boat the better. In fact, the ideal boat is a jon boat or small, Classic Boston Whaler. Also, there are lots of beautiful, sandy banks to beach the boat and enjoy the day.
As of March of 2021 the official kayak rentals at Weeki Wachee State Park (Fresh Water Adventures) has shortened its’ kayak distance and time to 2.8 miles and 2 hours respectively. It’s a huge change and if you’re not aware of it you’ll likely be disappointed. The only other ways to see the entire river is to launch your own kayak at Weeki Wachee State Park (reservations still required and you’ll also be responsible for your own transportation back to your car), or use The Kayak Shack and paddle against the current for a while.
While I visited, I documented my trip by video so you could see the beauty and learn more about it. I also filmed a 360 video for the pinnacle of immersion. Below is the traditional one. Prepare to be amazed!
Consider Boat U.S. for your boating needs. They are a great organization that provides numerous resources to improve your life on the water AND trailering your boat. Click HERE for more information.