Chassahowitzka River – Springs and Culture

The Chassahowitzka River and its springs would be considered deep in the Florida backwoods. It was the desire to explore the backwater springs and the culture of the state that led me here. While the rest of the country is shoveling out beneath the snow, the Floridians, even in February, are swimming and boating on crystal clear springs. This first photograph shows a place called Seven Sisters Spring, where you can swim through channels beneath the surface. rbt_7275-edit

Paddling down the Chassahowitzka River leads to many tributaries and other springs. Here, a family prepares to get a lift back up river against the current on their return. rbt_7282-edit

Baird Creek, one of the many tributaries, is Florida at its most primeval. Sourced by clear springs, the waters are pure and the sand bottom revealed. At the end of Baird Creek the channel narrows, boats are left behind, and a short walk leads to Blue Spring, The Crack. rbt_7331-edit

Here, some locals were taking advantage of a rope swing, pulling their friend as far back as possible for a plunge into the 72 degree waters. rbt_7339-edit

Locals hang out at Blue Spring, The Crack, like young people in many rural parts of the country, having a few beers and letting the afternoon pass. rbt_7370-edit

Paddling into Salt Creek, another tributary, took us away from the crowds and into the natural beauty that is interior Florida. Here, a Little Blue Heron and a raccoon ply the waters for food. rbt_7411-edit






Returning to the Chazz, as the river is locally known, we met those who visit for the weekend and picnic along the shores, or stay in the region for months on houseboat, or live in the canals by the headwaters of Seven Sisters Spring. It’s an entirely different Florida than many know, it is indeed The Real Florida. rbt_7541-edit




8 thoughts on “Chassahowitzka River – Springs and Culture

  1. I was just in the Salt Creek area with a buddy of mine from California. I so wanted to get down there but we ran out of time. 😦 I’m planning to do a day trip on my own soon…great to see the pics.

    I sent you an email regarding my schedule. It probably hit your spam folder. I used the one on your website. Is there a better address, one that I can send you my phone contact info. I’d love to catch you before you leave Florida.

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