Alexander Springs Run

Alexander Springs with Outsiders USA

I discovered this kayak/paddleboard launch quite by accident one day while saying “nope” to a long line of cars at Alexander Springs State Park. Finding a free, easily accessible launch within 30 minutes of Central Florida was awesome! In the past couple of years, the Florida Forestry Service has repaved and cleaned up the launch, making it even more of a hidden gem for us. We’ll take any chance we can get to be out in nature and paddling some of Florida’s beautiful waterways, like Alexander Springs. If you’re looking for a paddle that’s easy, kid-friendly, not-too-crowded, this is it.
Here’s some information we think may help you #getoutthere and enjoy being outside!

Alexander Springs Recreation Area is located between Astor and Altoona to the east of SR 19 and the west of the St. Johns River and CR 445-A.

Where to launch:

We launch from under the CR 445-A bridge, and paddle upstream to the Alexander Springs Recreation Area.


No fees to launch from the bridge. There is a $2 fee to be paid to the park when you arrive there, if you are mooring boards, swimming or using the park facilities.

What to bring:

  • Enough water for a few hours in the sun
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Snorkel/mask are highly recommended at Alexander (and any Florida freshwater springs, really)!


Depending on skill level, this paddle shouldn’t take more than 1 hour each way. Total distance paddled is ~2.4 paddles (out & back is 1.2 miles each way), with the current helping you on the way back. We recommend taking 3 hours, so you have some time to swim and relax in the gorgeous swimming area at Alexander.




2.5 miles round trip

Things to see:

The gently sloped crystal-clear swimming area is perfect for kids to play and swim. The water is a constant 72°F and incredibly clear. Surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum and cabbage palms, this recreation area feels almost tropical. There’s a concession stand and restrooms, and plenty of area for BBQ-ing. Overall, this is a great place to spend some time with family and friends. On the water you are likely to see many turtles, birds, and perhaps some otter and gators too!

Best time:

It can get pretty crowded in the spring and summer months, which are the best times (weather-wise) to visit. Planning to get there earlier in the day is always best, though there may be a good crowd even by mid-day. My pick would be weekday mid-morning or mid-afternoon.


Alexander Springs Paddleboarding with Outsiders USA