Big Shoals - no water
First three photos by Ginger Blackerby of Wellborn, FL.
Taken at almost all time low water record on 10-9-06
The below photos show what it actually the cause of the White Water, the only white water in the state of Florida. Kayakers come from hundreds of miles to frolic in this white Water which is usually a Class II rapids, when the water is really high, a full Class III . The rock ledges are almost all limestone and edges are extremely sharp. An overturned canoe here would be extremely dangerous to the paddler, should he or she make bodily contact with any of these rocky ledges. Not to mention the loss of a canoe and all of their equipment. The point here is to warn those who attempt to do fool hardy things, like run these rapids in a fully loaded canoe. At the time these were taken, the water was very close to the all time record low, which is believed to be 48.75, shown here on the above date, it was 49.71. These figures are the readings in feet above sea level,on the Florida State water level gauge located at White Springs.
Those figures are what you read when you go to my water level page on this website. To make it easy for all viewers to be able to "read" how the paddling could be expected to be, at certain water levels, 1. read the gauge figure at White Springs, then 2. go back to the main page, and just below where the link is you clicked on to go to the water level reading, you will see numbers in blue. 3. compare the number you got from the gauge reading to the blue numbers and you will know exactly what to expect the paddling to be for the several few days. On another note, before making your trip plans, you might also want to go to my 5 day weather forecast and check the weather.
CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
This photo clearly shows why I have been telling all paddlers, if they are going to run the shoals, stick tight to the right bank, a little more than a full paddle length from shore. It is the main water bed and have far less rocks and drops than any other spot. It begins at the large tree on the waters edge. Hang tight to the bank for roughly 150 feet then kick left toward the center at about a 30 degree angle and you will sail right through.
Photo submitted several years ago by Margie and husband, Otto Hunerwadle of Dowling Park. Almost same water level as above 10-9-06 shots. Otto is standing about 40 feet above the first big ridge (Drop) of the shoals. It is in the near foreground.
Old photo I took a couple years ago. There are small deep pools in these rocks, scattered here and there. For parents with small children, KEEP THEM AWAY FROM THESE HOLES. They are VERY deceiving. Edges are extremely sharp, also I tried touching bottom on several with a long stick, and could not. For a small child unattended, these pools could be deadly. PLEASE -- Do NOT allow your small children to roam these dry shoals unattended. Also, note, this is the first ridge, (drop) seen in the foreground of above photo. As you can see, it is quite an abrupt drop.
I apologize for the unsharp photo. I had to enlarge it from a smaller one to show Shoals at Class III . Here, they were like a thundering freight train. If you have a better one, send it to me and I'll post it. NOTE the larger tree near the right top edge. That is the same tree mentioned in the third photo as starting point for the easier run. This shot obviously taken from the east bank - just beside and below the campsite.
Hope these are helpful!