A little over an hour from Gainesville, the Rainbow River is an easy kayak trip. The Rainbow River is formed by Rainbow Springs, a first magnitude artesian spring
which produces more than 490 million gallons of water a day.
We rented kayaks from Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak Company, a very clean, well-run facility with a very helpful and friendly staff located along the Withlacoochee River in Dunnellon Florida.
You can show up and rent kayaks right at the Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak Company — or if you call ahead, you get a 10% discount.
After you check in and pay for your kayak rental at Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak Company, your kayaks are loaded onto a trailer, and you take a short shuttle ride to K. P. Hole County Park.
There is a $5 entrance fee per person to enter the park. The kayaks are launched from K. P. Hole County Park, and it is a 2-3 hour paddle down the Rainbow River back to Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak Company.
If you like, you can paddle up to Rainbow Springs State Park first to see the headsprings, which will add about 3 miles to your trip.
Otters, fish, turtles, alligators, and birds of all types make the river their home.
The day we kayaked, we saw a few fish and some ducks. I was really disappointed that we didn’t see any river otters, which from what I understand are plentiful.
What we did see were hundreds of tubers having a wonderful time lazing down the river in groups — a perfect relaxing activity for a hot summer day.
Tubing season runs from Memorial Day to October 1st – so if you are looking for a really quiet kayak trip, plan your journey outside of tubing season.
It is unlawful to possess alcoholic beverages on the river, and food and drinks cannot be in disposable containers.
All in all this was a great relaxing afternoon, and we will definitely be back.