ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Juniper Springs Run, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Juniper Springs Run, Florida
Juniper Springs Run
The run is a beautiful canoe stream that flows from
Juniper Springs and through the Juniper WIlderness
Area in Florida's Ocala National Forest.
Juniper Springs Run
The stream leaves Juniper
Springs and flows through
some of the wildest and most
beautiful scenery in Florida.
Noted Canoe Stream
Juniper Springs Run is a
favorite canoe and kayak
stream for outdoor lovers. A
canoe launch is available.
Juniper Springs Run - Ocala National Forest, Florida
Florida Canoe & Kayak Stream
Copyright 2011 & 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: April 23, 2013
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Historic Stone Bridge
Juniper Springs Run flows
beneath a unique stone
bridge built during the 1930s
by the C.C.C.
Juniper Springs
The stream is fed by Juniper
Springs, a scenic and historic
natural spring in the Ocala
National Forest.
Juniper Springs Run, also known as Juniper
Springs Creek, is one of the finest canoe and
kayak streams in Florida. It has been named
one of the top 25 canoe runs in America.

From its source at Juniper Springs and Fern
Hammock Springs in the Juniper Springs
Recreation Area, the creek winds through the
noted Juniper Prairie Wilderness area in the
Ocala National Forest. From the launch point
at Juniper Springs to the take-out on SR 19,
the canoe run is seven miles long and takes
around four hours to complete.

The creek is a great way to explore the
Juniper Prairie Wilderness, one of Florida's
most important natural areas.

Covering 14,283 acres, the federally-
designated wilderness area protects the
heart of the Big Scrub. Made famous by the
books of noted novelist Marjorie Kinnan
Rawlings, the Big Scrub is a region of sand
pine and saw palmetto, occasional
hammocks and wide prairies.

This was the setting for
The Yearling, one of
Rawlings' best-known books. The movie
version of the book, starring Gregory Peck,
Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman, Jr., was
filmed in part on location in the Big Scrub.

The book and film tell the story of a young boy
named Jody and a fawn he adopts after its
mother is killed.

Please click here to learn more about author
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

The first part of Juniper Springs Run is
extremely narrow and fallen trees often form
obstacles. The creek gradually widens out
and slows, however, as water from more
small springs flows into it. The seven mile
stretch between Juniper Springs and the
take-out point forms a wide bend that takes
paddlers into the heart of the Big Scrub.

The first part of the run passes through a
lush riverine swamp that is strikingly
beautiful. A part of this section of the creek
can also be explored on foot via a barrier-free
nature trail at the Juniper Springs Recreation

This trail leads from the old millhouse at the
main spring pool along the south side of the
creek to a series of overlooks. These provide
beautiful views of Juniper Springs Run and
interpretive panels detail the history, plant-
life and natural significance of the creek.

Among the unique plants in the swamp are
the Coonti fern and the needle palm.

The rare Coonti is one of the most primitive
seed-bearing plants on earth. It holds
special significance in Florida history. While
the stem is poisonous, the Seminoles and
other early Florida Indians knew how to
pound the plant into an edible flour.

The needle palm is the most cold-hardy
palm in the world. It has been known to grow
as far north as Connecticut and New
Hampshire, but is most common in the
South. It was once named "plant of the year"
in Florida. It is soft to the touch as compared
to the sharp and rugged saw palmetto. Small
gecko-like anole lizards can often be seen on
the plants.
The nature trail also provides close-up views
of the unique sand boils that help feed the

After it passes out of the riverine swamp
area, the Juniper Springs Run enters the
famed sand pine scrub of the Big Scrub. This
is part of the largest contiguous area of sand
pine scrub on earth. There are no roads into
the wilderness and motorized vehicles are

The end of the canoe run is at the SR 19
bridge. From here the creek winds its way to
Lake George where it feeds the St. Johns

Canoe rentals are available at Juniper
Springs and the launch there is accessible to
people of all abilities. Please note, however,
that the canoe launch opens at 8 a.m. and
closes 4-5 hours before sunset.

Canoe rentals are not available after 11:45
a.m. (Eastern time) and shuttle service back
from the take-out point is not available for
paddlers launching their own canoes after
that time.

The current fee for renting a canoe is $33 per
day, plus a $20 deposit and a $2 reservation
fee (total $55). Call 352-625-2808 to reserve
a canoe (reservations are a must).

Return shuttle service is available from the
take-out point on SR 19. If you use your own
canoe, this service is available for $6, but
please note that you must launch before
11:45 a.m in order to use it.

Please click here to visit the National Forest
page for Juniper Springs Run.

Please click here for a downloadable map of
Juniper Springs Run.
The Ocala National Forest
Big Scrub of Florida

Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway

Juniper Springs

Juniper Springs Run

Old Millhouse at Juniper Springs

Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area

Salt Springs Recreation Area

The Yearling - Trail & Filming Locations

Ocala National Forest
Historic Sites & Points of Interest