Waccasassa / Little Wekiva Kayak Tour
The Wekiva River is a major tributary of the Waccasassa River that originates at Wekiva
Spring in Levy County, Florida.From Wekiva Spring the river meanders westward and
then southward about 7 miles to where it flows into the Waccasassa River. It is fed
along the way by Mule Creek and the Little Wekiva River. Wekiva Spring is located at
Lat. 29° 16’ 49.49” N, Long. 82° 39’ 21.90” W. Discharge at the spring head on July 30th
1997 was 26.28 ft3/sec. The river is centrally located in the area between the
Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers that is often referred to as the Gulf Hammock.
In 1877 Christopher Wingate and his wife Emma Wingate built the Gulf Hammock Hotel
on land lying between the Wekiva and Little Wekiva Rivers. The hotel welcomed
hunters, fishermen, and travelers from all over the world until 1905. One of the regular
guests there was the American landscape painter Hermann Ottomar Herzog, who
visited from about 1893 to 1905. Herzog painted over one hundred paintings in the Gulf
Hammock area, including at least seven with the name "Wekiva" in the title.
Beginning about 1908 many areas accessible via the Wekiva and Waccasassa River
area were logged for cypress. The trees were floated down to Burns Landing on the
Waccasassa, then rafted downstream to the Gulf of Mexico and up the coast to a
sawmill at Lukens, near Cedar Key, Florida.
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|Waccasassa / Little Wekiva Rivers