Monday, January 04, 2010

Silver River State Park

These photos were taken a few years ago while on a camping trip in June.  This is one of our favorite parks. It’s in Ocala, Florida.
John Travolta has a large estate near there where he stays a lot and flies his 727’s in and out. It must be quite a spread.
Several years ago, we were lucky enough to be camping at the SP during the annual “bird misting”. We had never heard of this before.
Bird banding is a way to study birds. They catch the birds in a mist net, weigh and measure them, check their overall health, band their tiny little legs and let them go. They don’t seemed to be harmed by the process. It’s quite interesting and you get to see these birds up very close.
The net is a very fine net that the birds fly into and get caught. They quickly catch them do their thing.
The people who band them are obviously well trained as the birds are not harmed. It would be real easy to hurt those spindly little legs.
One little bird was laying flat on his back in the banders’ hand. He explained that when you put them on their back they go into a kind of a trance. This little bird looked dead but once he shook his hand a little bit, he flew off. I promise!

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They caught and banded quite a few birds that day. We have always wanted to go back and see it again the banding kept getting canceled for various reasons…like the horrible hurricane season of 2004 and 2005!
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This one of our very favorite parks in
all of Florida. Once we discovered it, we had a hard time going anywhere else for a while.
The fall wildflowers were always beautiful. We had the most beautiful wild yellow flowers by our campsite. One day we came back to our site and found they had all been cut down. They were not “native” to the area and the park was getting rid of them all. I was not happy.



Kayaking on the Silver River was wonderful. The park has a kayak launch that unfortunately is 1/2 mile down a trail to the river. You cannot drive so you carry your kayak. They have promised for years that they were going to put in a kayak livery and rental service in the park, but it hasn’t been done yet. With the budget cuts I don’t look forward to seeing it anytime soon. It probably is just as well as there are less boaters on the upper part of the river. The river is deep and there are motorboats on it.
We prefer to launch at the park because the prettiest part of the river is from the park up to the head springs. If you put in at the launch outside the park there is a lot longer paddle and we’re too lazy!
We have 2 little kayak carts that we put our kayaks on. We then roll them down to the river. It works out well, as long as you balance the kayak properly so that you just have to guide it along.

There aren’t too many places to get out and stretch your legs on this river but we found one nice little cove where you can get out. If you go on a weekend it will be occupied.


 Image012 It’s one of the prettiest rivers in the state of Florida, and Florida has some gorgeous rivers!
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 Kayaking on Silver River 
Many movies have been filmed at Silver River, including old Tarzan movies.  Monkeys were used in some of these films. They were released to and have survived and reproduced.  There has been talk over the years of getting rid of the monkeys as they can be kind of aggressive.  I hope they leave them alone, they are doing fine and are fun to watch.  Just don’t kayak too close to them, especially the dominant males. They are definitely protective of their family.  Do not feed them!
Family of Monkeys on the Silver River
Our campsite is very relaxing after a hard day kayaking.



  1. Karen, I am so happy Margie told me about your blog. I'll be headed to Silver River soon and I can't wait to kayak. The water looks so clear. Can't wait.

  2. I knew if Carolyn saw those photos she would want to kayak there too. The photos were wonderful. I think Carolyn is in that area today - but the next two days are going to be soooo cold there. Maybe it will warm up before she has to leave - but if not, I bet she makes a plan to return there another time. She's a full-time RVer so she makes her own schedule.


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