Places to Paddle tm
Canoeing - Kayaking - Rafting



Withlacoochee River, Inverness FL USA
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Copyright 2005 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: D. Connolly
  • Date Submitted: 1/2005
  • Location: Inverness, FL USA
  • Class: 1
  • Distance Paddled: 15 miles
  • Water: Blackwater, some springs
  • Wildlife: Lioness [see photo above], tigers, gators, egrets, herons, pileated woodpecker, limpkin, moorehens, osprey, vultures, kingfisher, and others, especially purple martins.
  • Special Regulations: Ramp at Highway 44 had closed signs. Check with the Sumter County Sheriff [Tel.352-793-0222] and FL Fish and Wildlife [888-330-7390]. We put in without incident on January 17, 2005.


  • Directions: Exit Interstate 75 onto Route 44 west. Put-In is on the southeast bank of the Withlacoochee River where Highway 44 crosses it. It is marked by standard brown Public Boat Ramp signs approximately 7 miles east of Invernness, FL.
  • GPS Coordinates: N28 degrees 51.092' W82 degrees 12.965'
  • Fee: none
  • Description: Concrete ramp with small beach to the side
  • Parking: adjacent paved
  • Facilities: none
  • Handicap Access: nothing special


  • Directions: Take Out is at the Public Boat Ramp off County Road C-39. From the Put-In take Highway 44 west into Inverness. Turn right onto Route 41 to Hernando. In Hernando bear right onto Route 200 going to Ocala. Immediately before the bridge over the Withlacoochee turn left onto County Road C-39 and follow the brown boat ramp signs to the Take Out. (If you go across the bridge make a U-turn at Stumpknockers just the other side.)
  • GPS coordinates: N28 degrees 59.476' W82 degrees 21.208'
  • Fee: none
  • Description: Concrete ramp with small beach to the side
  • Parking: adjacent paved
  • Facilities: none
  • Handicap Access: nothing special

What We Saw

It was a chilly morn and the boat minders, Sally and Dianne, were happy to have a thermos of hot tea while Walt and Ernie drove the 20 mile shuttle. The 40 mile round-trip took at least an hour putting us on the water by 11 AM.

At the Highway 44 bridge, 500 yards downstream, were large "Underwater Hazard" signs. But there was no evidence of any hazards that would ground the Langford Prospector canoe nor the solo kayaks.

Just short of 2 miles into the paddle on river left was the Lion's Den with a lioness shown in the photo above, and several tigers behind a tall stout fence.

Lunch, a little late at 12:50 PM, was at Potts Preserve [see photo at left], about 6.5 miles from the Put-In on river left. We lounged in the warm sun and lack of wind, exploring the large oaks and flowers blooming.

We resumed an hour later paddling among numerous purple martin "top guns" in dogfights with invisible insects. They were all over the river skimming & wheeling over any patch of vegetation. A snowy egret watched these antics patiently stalking the vegetation near shore, Sally spotted a gator but it submerged well before we came close.

At marker #37 we went ashore at Blue Spring to stretch and Sally and Walt hoisted the canoe over the bank to return to rejoin us on the river further downstream.

The final few miles are built up. Earlier in the day we traversed long sections without habitation. We did not see one other boat on the river during the 15 mile paddle. Only at the Take Out when we were loading the three boats on the pickup Yakima rack a couple of fishermen backed their trailer into the water and took off to try their luck before sunset. We took out at 4:30 PM.