I made a return visit to the Ocala National Forest Saturday afternoon, October 27, 2007. The paddle was Alexander Creek. I left work at 12:30, ( working a half day today allowed me to do a half day Wednesday for the Turkey Creek yak) and was in the Creek about 2.
Alexander Creek begins at Alexander Spring, a first magnitude spring discharging 72 million gallons daily. Like all spring fed waterways in Central Florida's interior, it flows into the St. Johns River. The length is about 10 miles. I paddled only about 3. My first two times on Alexander, I put in at a primitive ramp 7 miles downstream. If you rent a canoe at the Alexander Springs Recreation Area, this is where a shuttle picks you up. The takeout is at the end of a five mile dirt road. The first time I paddle Alexander, a sign at the Rec Area read, 'Shuttle Out of Service" I asked why. Rains had made the road too rough/ And I had just driven it with my Cavalier. My second time, road a bit better but the Creek was impassable due to weeds. So ever since, I have launched from a bridge, Lake County Highway 445, one mile from the Spring. This allows quick access to one of the best Springs in Florida.
Deep, wide, clear, interesting limestone formations, Alexander Spring has it all. In addition, the vegetation just outside the Spring contains a variety of life.
After snorkeling,I took a stroll on the Timucan Trail. Just over a mile, half boardwalk, half trail through the forest.
After the walk, it was back in the yak. I paddled past the bridge for 45, minutes then reverse course. Here's a sample of the wildlife. No alligators on an overcast day.