Florida Pontoon Notes

Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River

The Ocklawaha River

Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River

This is a nice trip. There are plenty of wildlife to see, Gators, Turtles, Herons, Egrets, and Ibis. Along the shoreline, there are numerous Scarlet Rose Mallow, Pink Swamp Mallow, Swamp Lillies, Climbing Asters, and Climbing Hempvine adding color along the way. In early Fall, Maples, Gums, and Cypress add colorful splashes of red, orange, and yellow. As in all sections of the Ocklawaha River, be aware and look for downfall. Usually, the crabbers have come in and cleared many of them ahead of time, but keep an eye out! And be aware of the numerous crab trap buoys along the entire route. Be sure to stop at Davenport Landing and enjoy a rest, as well as explore the sites at the top of the bluff…James


Map - Ocklawaha - Rodman Dam to St Johns River
Map – Ocklawaha River – Rodman Dam to St Johns River

Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River Notes

icon-location-smLocation: This section of the Ocklawaha River is located between the Rodman ( Kirkpatrick ) Dam, on Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, Fl, and The St. Johns River, 11.3 miles to the east.

 

icon-launches-smBoat Ramp:

Eureka West Boat Ramp
Eureka West Boat Ramp

531 Rodman Dam Road, Palatka, Fl 32177, (352) 236-7143

Located on the southeast corner of Rodman Dam, this is a good stand alone ramp. There are two concrete ramps in great condition and plenty of paved parking. Restroom facilities are there and there is no fee to launch.

There are no docks.

 

 

 

 

icon-distance-smDistance: 11.2-miles one way, 22.5 miles round trip

 

icon-width-depth-smWidth and Depth: The river averages between 85 and 120 wide. The average depth of the channel was around 10′ deep

 

icon-current-tidal-smCurrent – Tidal: There are no noted springs along this section of the river and depth is controlled by rainfall and Rodman Dam. The current was minimal.

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icon-time-duration-smAverage Boating Speed:  We felt that running at 3000 – 3500 rpms, roughly 7 miles per hour, provided for a nice trip, slowing down for occasional obstacles.

Gas Consumption: 3 gals. gas

icon-restrooms-smRest Areas: Restroom facilities at the launch, Rodman Dam Boat Ramp, but nowhere, except at Davenport Landing.


Davenport Landing

Pon Tiki at Davenport Landing
Pon Tiki at Davenport Landing

Davenport Landing is the site of an old riverboat stop as well as an Indian Burial Mound. During the steamboat era, this was the last landing on the Ocklawaha River in the 1800s – 1900s, before it reached the St Johns River. This was the last high bluff on the river and steamboats stocked up on lumber for their boilers and food. The ‘Landing Master‘ was Thomas C. Fillyaw, Confederate Corporal who died in 1873 and was buried at the landing. The burial mound dates back to being up to 1200 years old!

Davenport Landing is recognized from the river, around 4.5 miles, by a low, reinforced wall at the water’s edge to the right of a beautiful Cypress Tree. Remnants of the old landing were covered by the higher water and vegetation. A great place to stop and rest. The water is shallow with a sandy bottom and plenty of space for kayaks. A trip up the bluffs offers an exploration of the Indian Mound and the gravesite of Thomas C. Fillyaw.


Rodman Dam to the St. Johns River Gallery


Guides, Maps & Info…


Crystal River | Homosassa River | Intercoastal Waterway | Lake Kerr | Lake Lochloosa | Pellicer Creek | Salt Springs | Santa Fe Lake | Silver Glen Springs | The Cedar Keys | The Ocklawaha River | The St Johns River | The Santa Fe River | The Silver River | The Suwannee River | The Rainbow River | Withlacoochee River