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Salt Springs Run

See trail guide below ... click on camera icons for photos at that location.

Located near the southern boundary of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, Salt Springs Run is the most accessible of the dozen or so tidal streams in the park. Salt Springs Alliance CSO outings depart from the Park Headquarters. Public access bay kayak to Salt Spring Run and the rest of the Park is available by following the Kayak Launch Trail from the main parking area. Another convenient launch area is Port Richey's Brasher Park, located at the west end of Koons Drive.

Hidden along the path of this kayak trail is a series of 12 geocaches. See HERE for more information.

This paddle is approximately 3 miles round trip. Plan your paddle for a medium to high tide.

  1. The kayak launch area is at a rocky outcropping by a channel cut by flow from the springs during the Oligocene era (18,000 years ago).
  2. Launch point for Salt Springs Alliance sponsored paddles, and for park-owned service boats. Look for jumping Mullet in the lagoon, and great fishing at high tide.
  3. Energy Marine Center - A research and classroom area operated by Pasco County Schools. Classes may be learning of the Salt Springs Run ecosystem near the docks or marshes, or journeying by kayak to learn about an oyster bar.
  4. Cow Key is the large island to the west.
  5. Salt Spring Run north bank - tidal grassy area attracks a variety of wading birds including frequent sightings of Roseate Spoonbills.
  6. Look for pods of Dolphins in the open water of Salt Spring Run.
  7. Paddle just north of a small mangrove island. Black, Red and White Mangroves can be found throughout the park. At the north side of this lagoon is Needle Rush marsh - found on approximately 1,000 acres of the Park's 4,000 total acres. Rare Rails, Wrens and Seaside Sparrows reside here.
  8. The joining of two streams from the two known springs nearby. The eutrophication, or filling-in of soil and nutrients, make this spot rich in plants and mammal trails. Look up to see the common Osprey, and if you're lucky, one of our resident Bald Eagles.
  9. Stumps of trees from the Turpentine era can be seen in the maritime hammocks. After the "Naval Stores" ran out, cattle roamed here and on islands at the mouth of Salt Spring Run.
  10. Salt Spring fishing village cabins (privately owned) can be seen to the north. Earlier, native Americans lived here hunting, fishing and gathering shell fish. The Park has 19 cultural sites registered so far.
  11. Hidden entrance through the mangroves to Salt Spring.
  12. At high tide, you can paddle to Salt Spring and into the lake beyond. The cavern is below water and not evident from the surface - but it extends some 300 feet below the surface. At medium to low tide, your passage will be blocked by two limestone arches under which the water flows. To help preserve this fragile area, if you arrive at low tide PLEASE do not portage over these geological features.
  13. Caldron Spring flows from a cavern under the culvert. River Otter and Alligators have been seen in this area.
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