Kayaking Gum Slough Springs

If you’ve done much paddling around Florida, chances are you’ve heard about Gum Slough. Located on the Withlacoochee River near Inverness, this is one of Florida’s wildest spring runs.

It’s not hard to find, and isn’t really considered a secret. It’s just super wild and untamed, and that’s what makes it a blast. If you don’t go with a group, chances are you’ll be the only one paddling the Gum Slough, especially on a weekday.

At first, Gum Slough seems like any other small offshoot of a river, but the further upstream you paddle, the clearer the water gets. Keep your eyes peeled for hawks and osprey flying overhead and through the canopy of cypress trees. Also, this is a good spot to check out Greenfly orchids and colorful Cardinal flowers. Below the water’s surface, eelgrass waves in the current, and signifies that Gum Slough is a healthy system.

I mentioned that paddling the Gum Slough is a challenge, right? This isn’t an improved paddling spot, but is one that is well worth seeing. Be prepared to pull your boat over tons of snags and around lots of obstacles. Sit on top kayaks and inflatable paddleboards are recommended – you’ll be getting out quite often and banging into stuff the whole way, so leave the sea kayaks at home.

Gum Slough goes on for miles. It’s a super long day trip if you are trying to reach the headsprings, but even if you don’t make it that far, it’s a heck of a good time. Plus, it’s an excuse to go back and paddle it again. For more information, see http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/gumslough.html, or Lars Andersen from Adventure Outpost has an awesome post, too.

Tags: kayaking

Chris Sgaraglino

Over the past 35 years of my adult life, I have gained a very diverse portfolio of adventures from which I have been blessed to be a participant. This wealth of experience and knowledge has defined my character, my morals and values and my healthy respect for people and the great outdoors. It is a true definition of an Outdoorsman!

All Trails Lead to Riches!

All season long, I am outdoors testing new products and consider them for reviews, some I keep, many I don’t. For the ones I don’t keep, once reviewed and photographed, I give them away to followers of The Outdoor Life blog who have subscribed to my newsletter! Products are typically for Biking, Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking, Camping, and other outdoor activities. Once I accumulate 3-4 items, I use an online random picker and select a name for each item, email you for your address and send it on its way. No strings attached!