A Manatee in the Crystal River, Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions

Paddling FAQs


Yes! This is to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Yes! We limit the number of boat launches to 70 per hour to better manage the beautiful river we all enjoy.

Yes, but we do not recommend it. If you are the spontaneous type and would like to rent one of our boats without a reservation, we will certainly try to accommodate you if there is an open reservation spot. However, this will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. We strongly recommend that you reserve ahead of time to ensure you can enjoy yourself!

The Weeki Wachee River is a very popular destination and we all want to ensure its future. Limiting the boats per hour help manage traffic down the river. This is a Florida State Park mandated limit.

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

Please make sure you know the posted time as it changes based on the time of year!


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

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.

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 a 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.

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.

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 are all prohibited.

Put on protective rain gear (rain poncho is best) and keep on paddling. Neither paddleboards nor kayaks can be rented during severe weather conditions.

In case of thunder and lightning, 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.

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

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

No. The only exception is service animals.

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

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

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

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

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.

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