More commonly referred to as the “Chazz” by Florida natives, the Chassahowitzka River is home to 7 Sisters Springs and is a treasure trove for paddle boarders and kayakers.
The entire river is one of the few places left in Florida that has not been developed which leaves the water sparkling clean, an abundance of wild and marine life, and unobstructed “Florida views” as I like to call them.
There are to ramps into the Chassahowitzka River, one is more private and within the Chassahowitzka River Lodge. The other, which is the main one that anyone can use for the low price of $5, is within the Chassahowitzka River Campground.
The staff at the campground are super friendly and helpful but if you’re looking to park on the campground, be sure to get there bright and early! We got there at 9AM and the lot was already full. Luckily, the staff let Tyler drop me at the ramp with our paddle boards and then find parking across the street at another site.
Since the Chazz is more of local spot than other rivers and springs, everyone is super friendly and helpful.
7 Sisters Spring is only a few minute paddle from the boat and kayak ramp. Once you get in the water you paddle to your right and then a few hundred yards down on your left, there is the spring! Just be sure to watch out for the fallen tree and rocks since I did catch my fin getting out of the spring!
The spring is colder than you would expect in Florida but extremely fun! You can see the spot where the spring water is getting pushed up to the actual spring. Along with that, there are little underwater caves that connect in the spring where people can dive in at one point and pop out at another! You can check out my video of cave diving on Youtube here.
In the morning the spring is extremely relaxed and has people wandering about and diving in the caves. Once noon comes, the spring turns into a party with kayaks and canoes tied to each other and awnings covering groups of drinking spring-goers.
After we had enough cave diving, we paddled up the river for about 30-45 minutes. The river is serene and what you imagine when you think of Florida, calm waters with palm trees on palm trees on palm trees. Along the river there are estuaries and branches and creeks and more springs. If you’re lucky, you can even claim one of the tiny beach spots along the rivers edge… we were not so lucky.
Since the river is not a residential river, at least not until you get closer to the gulf, the river is quiet and filled with fish. There are a lot of people fishing in the branches, taking advantage of the lack of people and motor boats.
We did not prepare enough for the paddling and how long the river was so we turned around before we got to the rest of the springs so we could gobble up some pub-subs like everyone else was. But we will sure to be go back soon to experience the rest of the springs and maybe find some more caves!
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