9 Best Kayaking Place in Ocala National Forest [2023]

Ocala National Forest is the ideal location for a kayaking adventure. The placid waters of the jade green Ocklawaha River provide an idyllic setting for paddling through this pristine area, while also providing access to more adventurous routes along its tributaries.

To explore the Ocklawaha River, we recommend booking a guided kayaking tour with Ocala Kayak Adventures.

Our expert guides will assist you in enjoying its scenic beauty as well as guiding you through any potential rough patches along the way!

Best Kayaking Place in Ocala National Forest

1. Haulo Land in Ocala National Forest

Located within the Ocala National Forest, Haulo Land is an ideal spot for kayakers looking for secluded waters.

Offering paddlers an unforgettable experience amid lush forest surroundings; it’s no wonder why this location has attained such favor among adventure seekers!

Unsurprisingly, this park boasts some impressive amenities: a bathhouse of sorts and other conveniences like food outlets and parking lots are all conveniently located nearby.

Visitors may set out in any direction they choose as they explore this quiet haven where they can easily immerse themselves in nature without any disturbance.

2. Chrisman Park Ocala

lies within the confines of Ocala National Forest, where you can find this tranquil haven nestled between a creek and Lake Jesup.

Regrettably, Chrisman Park is not equipped with any portage areas; however, this prized spot is ideal for beginners yet offers ample room for exploration.

The idyllic location makes it an ideal choice for day-tripping excursions as well as an excellent place to launch kayaks on a lazy Sunday outing!

Ocala National Forest is an ideal place for beginners and experienced kayakers alike to explore its expansive waters.

Nestled along the shores of Crystal River and Lake Timucuan, this area boasts a plethora of tranquil creeks perfect for paddling expeditions as well as sandy beaches providing ample opportunities for beachcombing.

If you’re looking for an invigorating journey through crystal clear waters, Ocala is an ideal destination!

3. Tatum Lake Dam in Ocala National Forest

Adorned with vintage boathouses and quaint picnic areas, this pristine lake provides a captivating base camp.

Unmistakably serene Tatum Lake is a popular destination for kayakers, boasting an idyllic setting and inviting waters at its center.

Tatum Lake Dam in Ocala National Forest

This tranquil haven offers numerous placid waters and sandy beaches that beckon with inviting placards all of which provide ideal spots for leisurely picnics! You may encounter some rafting here, but the water level is typically quite low.

4. Chevalier

Chevalier Island is the final destination in this Kayaking Lake Apopka journey. At the shoreline of Chevalier, paddlers can bask in its tranquil serenity and soak up some sun – all without a care in the world!

The island itself boasts an assortment of flora, fauna and wildlife, from American black bears to coyotes and bald eagles leading many to consider it as their preferred camping spot during their adventures along these waters.

Don’t forget that though this island is idyllic—it’s quite accessible; so don’t let its small size intimidate you!

5. South of Haulo Land

Haulo Land is an area of pristine habitat that ringed by pines, palmettos and towering oaks. It boasts abundant birdlife, as well as a wealth of wildflowers in season.

There are three access points for paddlers at Haulo Land; along its northern boundary is the highest point where visitors can launch their craft from high atop Rocky Hill.

The second option is from the elaborate boardwalk along the shoreline. Finally situated just south of here lies another convenient launch site located off North Fork Trail #1065.

A few miles north of Ichetucknee Springs, you’ll find a 1.5-mile stretch of pristine waters accessible via a paved road.

This idyllic place serves as an ideal launching pad for paddlers eager to explore the pristine waters, which boast some of the clearest and purest water in Florida!

Unsurprisingly, this location has garnered quite a bit of fame within the kayaking community over recent years so much so that it even has its own Facebook page!

If exploring isn’t your cup of tea but do wish to take out your boat and paddle along with nature instead, then don’t fret! This magical little spot offers a serene experience like no other.

6. Dry Prong on North side of Tatum Lake

To the east of Tatum Lake lies another secluded crescent shaped body of water, aptly named Dry Prong. For a brief moment in time it is possible to observe the breathtakingly fresh waters without even the slightest hint of human contact – an exhilarating experience!

Dry Prong makes for a delightful kayaking destination with gentle, undulating rapids and several shallow bays providing ample anchoring points.

However if you’re seeking something more adventurous, consider paddling the North Fork Tatum River as well its challenging yet thrilling course features numerous jagged rocks along the way!

Dry Prong on North side of Tatum Lake

Nestled in the subtropical evergreen forest, Ocala National Forest boasts an abundance of wilderness suitable for paddling excursions.

The remote location of this park makes it a perfect destination for novice kayakers eager to test their mettle against Mother Nature’s elements!

With an abundance of open water and opportunities for fun on the waves, paddling in Ocala National Forest is an ideal way to explore its stunning surroundings. If you’re seeking adventure, we recommend taking advantage of this opportunity; it could not be more ideal!

7. Hickory Creek on the Northeast Side of Buck Lake

If you’re seeking a secluded paddling spot in the midst of this beautiful expanse of forest, look no further than Hickory Creek.

This tranquil locale offers an ideal outing for all kinds of kayakers, be they experienced or novice; it’s spacious enough to accommodate even large groups!

During peak season, tourists frequently flock here for its calm waters and majestic views along the tranquil stream a perfect backdrop for photographs that may even turn out well lit highlights of your memories!

Nestled in the heart of the Ocala National Forest, this quaint river offers a tranquil paddling experience. This serene spot is ideal for those looking for something new that doesn’t involve strenuous hiking or strenuous exertion required to reach it.

Gain access to the Upper Little Conch River by way of an aquatic trail leading into its depths. The adventure begins at Camp Moosa, where you’ll find ample facilities including portajohns and showers as well as restrooms making this destination a prime choice for all ages!

This secluded, no motorized kayak adventure takes place in the tranquil waters of Little Conch Creek, part of the Ocala National Forest.

8. Soddie on the Northwest Side of Buck Lake

If you’re seeking a leisurely paddle around a tiny lake, don’t overlook Soddie on the northwest side of Buck Lake.

This secluded haven is one of the most tranquil spots in the area with just enough elevation gain and descents to make paddling effortless!

Soddie on the Northwest Side of Buck Lake

Soddie offers stunning views of unspoiled wetlands and lofty pines, making it an ideal place forbirdwatching. Its remote location means that visitors are unlikely to encounter other humans during their time spent here!

To reach this delightful cove, head west along CR 530 and take a right onto Old Forest Road.

For those seeking a more arduous paddle, you can set out for Ocala National Forest. This lush corner of the Florida Panhandle is rich with untamed nature; its miles of shoreline and rolling hills are ideal for exploring on an exhilarating canoe trip.

On offer here are two options: one that takes you from Econlockhatchee Creek to Robinson Creek, and another from Econlockhatchee River mouth directly to Lake Wescogamea both encompassing close to fifty miles of exploration!

9. Landing on Lake Louisa

Hiking through the dense vegetation and finding a secluded lake is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be quite liberating.

If you find yourself in this situation while exploring the region surrounding Lake Louisa, then don’t fret! This idyllic retreat offers a variety of options for paddling excursions and many are even accessible by boat.

At its heart lies the inviting waters of Lake Louisa, which encompasses 1262 acres of tranquil bliss nestled within Ocala National Forest.

Accessible via one of its two launch points both situated along unpaved side roads in close proximity to one another paddlers can explore its expanse along multiple routes; such as if desired by simply following the shoreline or circumnavigating its circumference with ease.

If you’re a novice or seasoned kayaking enthusiast, this is an ideal spot to experiment. The gentle inclines and dips of the river allow for exploration without exertion – perfect for beginners!

The Ocala National Forest encompasses an area of nearly 3 million acres, so there are boundless opportunities for adventure here.

With more than 500 lakes and rivers to explore along its shores from the tranquil Emerald River to exhilarating Crystal River it’s no wonder why this region has been dubbed Florida’s largest tract of remote forest land.

In addition to exploring most areas via kayak, adventurous travelers can opt for scenic floats down the tranquility filled waters.

At certain points along the way, two-hour excursions will be available where riders can venture out on a journey into their own inner world; granting them a unique experience like none before!


Ocala National Forest is a veritable paradise for paddlers, boasting over 30 miles of waterways crisscrossing the property.

Choose your path and embark on an exploration of this vast oasis no two journeys will be quite the same!

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