Rowing Down the River: Journey Down A Florida Waterway

By: Gary McKechnie


The best part of being a VISIT FLORIDA Insider is learning how much I DON’T know about my native state.

Ron Harrell, who’s a native Floridian, a faithful ‘OTBP’ facebook follower, and someone who loves the state, sent me a great idea for a waterway excursion and now I want to get my ducks in a row and do these things. Here’s what he suggested in a note:

• I strongly urge you to take a canoe or small jon boat with a 25 hp or so kicker on it, and take the trip down the Ocklawaha River from Rodman Dam to where it comes out on St. Johns River (across from Welaka) and back up to Rodman Dam. It is a beautiful piece of Florida and just about all that is left of the Ocklawaha as it was before the Cross Florida Barge Canal boondoogle and Rodman Lake.

• Also check out Dunn’s Creek from the bridge south of San Mateo all the way back to the lake at Crescent City - another tropical, typical Old Florida river journey. You will love it! I used to fish both of these areas with my grandfather (he was the manager of the Federal Fish Hatchery there in Welaka back in the 1940's) after he retired to Pomona Park. I really loved those old days!

(Me again…) Every time I travel across Florida, I’m always amazed at how much it’s changed, but when I get out of the cities it’s always nice to see how many places have stayed the same.

Thanks, Ron! I plan to do this soon – and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of folks following your lead.

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