Another great thing about living in Gainesville!

Another great thing about living in Gainesville!




Located smack dab in the middle of North Florida, Gainesville is close to all kinds of nature-related activities.  My favorite one, by FAR, is kayaking.  Athletically challenged to the point of not even being able to throw a Frisbee, I have always made it my mission to avoid all sports-related activities that did not involve sitting down. Especially after the U.S. Olympic Committee delivered a stinging defeat to sitters everywhere when they declined to make lounging an olympic event.

Then we moved to Gainesville, Florida, and I discovered kayaking.

Sure, I’d been once or twice before we moved here…..but living in Gainesville, within striking distance of dozens of lakes and rivers, and being blessed with a subtropical climate, lush vegetation, and TONS of wildlife, the recliner grew less and less appealing in favor of a couple of hours on the water in a boat I couldn’t capsize if I tried.

Today’s trip?  A two-hour paddle down the Ichetucknee River, with Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost in High Springs as our guide. A tributary of the Santa Fe River, the Ichetucknee is fed by 9 springs which produce an outflow in excess of 233 million gallons a day.


All types of wildlife call the Ichetucknee Springs area home, including the Silt Snail which lives in a little fenced-off area near Coffee Spring and is found nowhere else on earth.

Ancient mastodon teeth and bones of other extinct animals have been found in and around the Ichetucknee River.


Although I didn’t score any prehistoric dental fossils on my trip, I did see slider turtles as big as plates and mullet fish which jump out of the water….nobody knows why…..some speculate it’s because of gas…but the mullet’s not saying.



If you’ve never tried kayaking, I urge you to give it a go.  If someone who can’t even throw a Frisbee can navigate down a river, you can too.


About Coleen DeGroff

One Response to “Another great thing about living in Gainesville!”

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  1. Don Bailey says:

    Coleen, love your video. I have a place on the Santa Fe and love it….but never seem to find time to explore all the wonderful rivers. I keep promising myself to make one of Lars wonderful excursions but I have had so many skin cancer surgeries that I use that as a crutch not to do it, thanks for taking me on your trip.

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