A Manatee in the Crystal River, Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions

Paddling FAQs

  • Is a guide provided for the paddle?

No. This is a self-guided paddle. Guests are reminded to turn LEFT at all potential intersections on the river. It is a very easy paddle experience.

  • Do I need a lot of experience paddling a paddleboard or kayak?

No, Boating in Florida’s paddleboards and kayaks are very easy to use. The Weeki Wachee River is very easy to navigate even for the very beginning paddler.

  • What should I wear to Boating in Florida at Weeki Wachee?

A swimsuit, hat, water shoes, suntan lotion, and insect repellent (if sensitive to insects). In addition, rain gear (if rain is expected) and a jacket for the cooler months.

  • What other items should I bring to Boating in Florida?

A towel. A soft-sided thermo bag with plenty of water (we recommend three water bottles per person in the summer months), snacks or lunch, and camera (don’t want to miss that picture of grandma in the kayak!). A dry bag or box is good to have for your cell phone or remote control car keys. A double-sealed bag is a good alternative. Please don’t forget a plastic bag for your trash.

  • What items are prohibited at Boating in Florida at Weeki Wachee?

The following items are not allowed on the Weeki Wachee River: alcoholic beverages, pets, inflatable inner tubes, rafts or similar flotation devices (inflatable kayaks or boats that are USCG approved are permitted only after Boating in Florida staff inspection), motorized vessels of any type, styrofoam or glass items, and fireworks.

  • What if it rains while we are paddling?

Put on protective rain gear (rain poncho is best) and keep on paddling. Paddleboards or kayaks will not be rented during severe weather conditions.

  • What do we do if it starts lightning while we are on the paddle?

The best course of action is to pull over to the nearest accessible shore. Pull your kayak or canoe up onto the shore so it does not float away. Leave your paddles in the kayak/paddleboard. Crouch low to the ground and do NOT huddle together. Stay a few feet apart from each other. As soon as you feel the lightning has passed, resume your paddle.

  • Can I swim in the Weeki Wachee River?

Yes, after you leave the protected area of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, which is about 20 minutes after you launch.

  • Are there alligators in the Weeki Wachee River?

Yes, but don’t expect to see them. They are there, but prefer to stay in the marsh areas where guests do not paddle.

  • Can we bring pets?

No, with the exception of service animals.

  • Can we bring inner tubes or other flotation items?

No, only approved USCG inflatable kayaks or boats. A Boating in Florida staff member must inspect the inflatable prior to launch.

  • Can we launch paddle boards?

Yes, launch fees are the same as other private kayaks and canoes ($6 +tax). Paddle boards must be accompanied with a PFD (life jacket) and sound-producing device.

  • Can we launch inflatable kayaks?

Yes, though they must be USCG approved. A Boating in Florida staff member must inspect the vessel before it can be launched.

  • Can we launch motorized boats?

No. Electric or gas-powered motorized vessels can not be launched at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

  • Is Boating in Florida at Weeki Wachee ADA Compliant?

In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Chapter 780, Part I, Florida Statutes, the Florida Civil Rights Act, Boating in Florida is committed to providing accessible facilities, programs, and services for all people, including those with disabilities, to participate in kayaking. We welcome your call prior to your visit at (352) 597-8484 so that we may assist and safely include everyone to the best of our ability.

  • What if I get lost and arrive at the pickup point late?

Guests who arrive at the pickup point after 5pm will be charged a $50 per boat per hour late fee. Exceptions are made due to inclement weather conditions.

  • Can I get formal instruction in basic kayaking?

Yes, our Boating in Florida manager is an ACA Certified Instructor. Contact him for further information at (352) 597-8484