headers Colby landing

The River's History and Future

The Ocklawaha River flows north from the Harris chain of lakes for 74 miles to the St. Johns River. This river has been an integral part of the history of Florida, from the first people living along it’s shores to the many riverboat landings; from the wanderings of Bartram to the tourist destination of Silver Springs; and from the beginnings of the long-anticipated Cross Florida Barge Canal and the damming of the river to the end of that canal that left the controversial dam in place. The Ocklawaha River holds many secrets: geologic secrets in the twenty springs that are hidden under waters held back by the dam, archeological records left by those that first hunted along its banks to the eventual displacement of the Seminoles, and  historic secrets from before the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. Stories and songs have been inspired by these memories and secrets. Some of these have been shared here for the very first time.

Mapping SoftwareHere we also share the current state vision for the future of the Ocklawaha. As you explore these 74 wondrous miles you can not only learn of past secrets, but you can locate current amenities such as boat ramps and picnic spots. You can also envision some of the ideas shared by experts that see future economic development along a restored or partially restored river. Almost ten thousand acres of land are impacted by the waters held back by the dam. If these lands were once again available to the public, how could they best be used to for conservation, for wildlife habitat, for tourism and for economic development.

We invite you to explore the river.

Either virtually with our mapping software and in person. You will find magic, either way. The software will guide you to the exact location, all you have to do is click on the point or description. You can read more about the location and even get directions.