Silver Springs, Florida
Launch site: Road side Park on SR 40 3 miles east of Silver Springs. Fee: $2.00
Directions: From Ocala, Fl head east of SR 40, the park is on the right before crossing the bridge over the Oklawaha River.
Trip Description: Starting out at the park's boat launch, paddle out the short canal to the Silver River and turn right. It is about 7 miles to the World Famous Silver Springs. Due to the high amount of boat traffic, many animals are use to people and will remain in view. Do not mistake this behavior as the same as being tame. All of the animals are wild and some are dangerous. There are posted do not feed the monkey signs. As this is a popular place for both paddlers and motor boats, it is best to go during the week or cooler months. There is no development on this river until you reach the State Park and Sliver Springs. Bring your camera and take lots of pictures.
Monkeys: Yes, there are monkeys and yes they can bite. The wild rhesus monkeys are descendants of a colony that escaped.
The Silver River is one of the most beautiful and peaceful rivers you will ever paddle. With two launching points, itís up to you how much of a work out you will get from your ride. The most popular launching point is from Rayís Wayside Boat Basin at the western foot of the Ocklawaha bridge on State highway 40. The other option is to launch from the end of our River Trail. This does require you to carry your vessel .6 miles from the parking lot to the River.
The state of Florida has outlawed fishing and declared the Silver a registered Natural Landmark and designated the area a "River of Special Concern," an "Outstanding Florida Waterway" and aquatic preserve. Its entire seven-mile length is a no-wake zone, but regrettably many boaters don't get the message.