Springs Outing – Santa Fe River “Sucks”
Join the Florida Springs Institute and Tom Morris for an adventure on the Santa Fe River investigating its sinks and swallets (a.k.a. sucks, swallow holes, or river sinks)! This will be a combination canoeing/kayaking/hiking trip. For those with their own watercraft, we will launch just downstream of the Hwy 41/441 bridge at the High Springs Boat ramp located at end of Boat Ramp Road, 1.2 miles north of the 41/441 and CR 236 intersection in High Springs.
Participants are responsible for bringing/reserving their own watercraft. If you do not have your own boat, we recommend renting canoes and kayaks at the nearby Santa Fe Canoe Outpost where you can launch approximately 800 feet above our starting point. More information can be found here: https://santaferiver.com/.
We will end our trip approximately three miles downstream at the Hwy 27 boat ramp, which is roughly two miles north of downtown High Springs. The shuttle at the end of the day is an easy 5 mile ride. For those who bring their own boats, we can help each other with the shuttle. The Santa Fe Canoe Outpost will retrieve boats for renters.
The Santa Fe River is nice and clear right now, and we expect it will remain so for our trip! If the group is up to it, we would like to paddle upstream and visit Darby Spring (0.2 mi) and Blackman’s Rise (0.5) mi). If we get permission from Camp Kulaqua, we will hike 0.12 miles through nice forest and check out the Hornsby Swallet and learn about the complex hydrology of the area.
As we head downstream, we will look at two swallets near the launch point and their nearby resurgence known as Columbia Rise. Here, we will walk up the rocky 400’ run. Continuing downstream, we’ll pass some interesting shoals, and stop at the most impressive swallet on the river that Tom calls MOAS, or, “The Mother of all Swallets”. We will tie our boats up there, eat lunch, (and hike in the forest for an hour or so.
The final leg is the paddle down to the Hwy 27 boat ramp, during which we pass some fun shoals as well as the Mega Rise (aka Gator Rise), one of the most impressive boils in the state. We will end the day at the Hwy 27 ramp around 4 PM. This will give us plenty of daylight for the shuttle.
Things to bring: kayak/canoe, water shoes (good enough for a bit of hiking), lunch, and rope to tie your boat off when we make our stops.
Meetup location is the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute North Florida Environmental Center, 23695 US Hwy 27 High Springs, FL
If you have signed up, you can expect a final details email the week prior to the event. Thank you!
About FSI Springs Outings – The goal of FSI’s Springs Outing program is to connect nature lovers with the outdoors while giving them the opportunity to learn about Florida’s springs and the threats facing them. Each outing is led by a qualified expert/scientist and holds a new adventure. Proceeds from Spring Outings benefit the Florida Springs Institute so we can continue vital springs research and education efforts.