The Withlacoochee River originates in central Florida's Green Swamp, east of Polk City. It flows west, then north, and then turns northwest and finally west again before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico near Yankeetown. The river is 86 miles (138 kilometers) long and has a drainage basin of 1,170 square miles (3,030 square kilometers).
The Withlacoochee River forms most of the boundary between Polk & Sumter Counties, then flows through Pasco & Hernando Counties, and then forms part of the boundary between Hernando County and Sumter County, and all of the boundary between Citrus and Sumter County, between Citrus County and Marion County and between Citrus County and Levy County, (including Lake Rousseau). The largest city close to the river is Dade City, (just five miles to our south.)
The name "Withlacoochee" probably stems from a Muskhogean dialect, which suggests that its application is comparatively recent. It is compounded of Creek we (water), thlako (big), and chee (little), or little big water. This word combination signifies little river in the Creek language, and as we-lako or wethlako may also refer to a lake, it may signify a river of lakes, or lake river. The Withlacoochee flows just to the eastward of Tsala Apopka Lake, and the St. Johns River which flows through a series of large and small lakes was called welaka by the Seminoles.
There is an abundance of wildlife on the shores of this River. There are a numerous varieties of fish, and plenty to catch as this photo attests to.
Look closely on an early foggy morning, and you may see one of the earliest inhabitants of this area.
We offer shuttle service for drop off and pick up with a variety of Canoe trips to choose from. Please visit our Canoe & Kayak page to see all of what we offer.
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