March 29 – April 4, 2020

Cost $1,475 Per Person Double Occupancy
Travel Dates March 29 – April 4, 2020 CANCELED
Description Return with me to a place I visited in March, 2017 and again in March, 2019. Located in the heart of North Florida’s vast forests lies hundreds of large magnitude crystalline springs that feed several outstanding rivers and waterways including the Santa Fe, Suwanee, Ichetucknee, and the Northern Withlacoochee. These springs were featured in National Geographic Magazine in March of 1999. Our base camp will be brand new lodges at the confluence of the Suwanee and Northern Withlacoochee Rivers. Over the course of the week we will paddle several scenic rivers, go tubing down a spring run, snorkel a host of large springs, and explore an area of Florida rich in history, culture, and unbridled beauty.

Not only is this area of Florida rich in wild beauty, it is also rich in history. For thousands of years Timucuan and Apalache Indians hunted and lived in these areas, leaving behind them tons of evidence of their presence. Pottery shards and arrowheads litter the banks of the upper Suwanee and Santa Fe. The famous William Bartram explored this area during his “Travels” and wrote about it extensively. In the years prior to statehood, pirates would attack ships in the Gulf and hide up the Suwanee River. It’s a known fact that there is still buried gold at Fowlers Bluff. Scuba divers are always finding Spanish silver and gold throughout the river during low water. During the War Between the States, blue coats would hide along the banks of the river and attack Confederate steamers. There are still remains of such a ship at Troy Spring.

Included 6 nights lodging, 6 breakfast, 5 lunches and 5 dinners.  All ground transportation (to and from the Orlando airport), along with transportation during the trip. Van support transporting kayaks, kayaking gear, and riverside lunches. Kayaks (12 foot plastic Neckys) , paddles, and PFDs  two local guides/naturalists,  gratuities for guides.
Not Included Airfare/transportation to the Orlando airport, meals, lodging  and transportation before and after the trip dates, lunch on day 1, dinner on day 6 (we’ll visit a local barbecue establishment in Live Oak) , personal items, such as bug dope, sunscreen, dry bags/day packs, rain gear, and footwear. Trip insurance is not included in the trip price and is very strongly recommended.
Payment Policy A deposit of $ 450 is due with the application forms to register for the trip. Must have at least 8 registered and paid in full by December 1, 2019 for the trip to go. The balance of $1,025 is due no later than December 1, 2019.
Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel prior to December 1, 2019 everything except the $ 100 ADK registration fee will be refunded.
  • On or after December 1, 2019, refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100 will be refunded.
  • If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.
Trip Insurance It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any, you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.



Daily Itinerary Day 1: Saturday, March 29: 

Airport pick up at noon, drive three hours to Suwanee River State Park stopping for lunch in route (not included in trip price). Introduction to kayaking riverside.

Day 2: Sunday, March 30:

Drive from our cabins to Madison Blue Spring swim, snorkel and play. 8-mile kayak trip down the Withlacoochee River to our cabins. Stopping at Pot Springs and the old Sawmill Springs.

Day 3: Monday, March 31:

Suwanee River Paddle from the lodge to Dowling Park. Stopping at numerous springs, swings, and shoals.

Day 4: Tuesday, April 1:

Kayak the Suwanee River’s “Spring Alley.” Float for half an hour, get out and explore a spring, repeat all day! On the way back to the lodge we will explore the world-famous Peacock Springs State Park at Luraville.  Don’t be surprised by the number of international travelers you may find at the end of the lightly-traveled dirt track, as people come from all over the world to scuba dive the vast network of underwater caverns found here.  We will swim and snorkel the placid run between the springs.  The amount of wildlife found in a clear water slough is so amazing and beautiful that you’ll want to swim the few miles out to the Suwanee.

Day 5: Wednesday, April 2:

Today we will drive to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. The Ichetucknee River is the ultimate tubing run in the world! Clear flowing water, sand bottom littered with fossilized sharks teeth, and the State’s highest level of protection. Make sure to pack your snorkeling gear and underwater camera.

Day 6: Thursday, April 3:

A bit of a drive today, but there’s a huge pay off.  We will be visiting the Wacissa Springs Unit and River.  Hundreds of springs dot the riverbed creating a big crystal clear river with heaps of animals.  Everyone gets a thrill from their first glimpse of a giant turtle, river otter, manatee, or small alligator swimming under their kayak.

Day 7: Friday, April 4:

Sleep in! When you do wake up, take a walk, go for a swim or maybe a short paddle. Our van departs for Orlando between 10:00-11:00 am, with a 2:00 pm arrival at Orlando International Airport.

Level of Difficulty Participants must have prior flatwater paddling experience and know paddling fundamentals. You must be comfortable sitting in a kayak for anywhere from 2-4  hours at a given time. We will be on the water for 7 hours each day, but will take breaks.  Be aware that biting insects, alligators and poisonous  snakes all make this area home.  Although, I did not encounter any during my prior trips. Heavy rains could change the conditions / character of the river(s). This includes fast moving water, blowdowns and strainers.  Since this is Florida, late afternoon rains and thunderstorms are always a possibility. These are not wide rivers, but should you dump, you must be a competent swimmer and comfortable floating in your pfd until someone can assist you. If there is any question regarding river safety, I will after consultation with our guide(s) make the appropriate determination. If I determine that conditions are not safe, we will decide on an alternate activity, such as a hike or visit to a local state park or similar. This could cause you to incur a cost not covered  by the trip price.
Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact me if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S, Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.
Trip Leader David Pisaneschi
180 South Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12208