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Putnam County

Putnam County

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Putnam Blueways & Trails is offering 2, 3 hour long guided kayak trips to places Bartram visited and wrote about.

Saturday at 10am: Paddling the Shoreline of Bartram’s Four Spring Hike

On December 27, 1765, William Bartram and his father John hiked three miles along the shoreline of the St. Johns River, stopping at four different springs along the way (John Bartram’s Journal entry for December 27, 1765). This paddle will follow the shoreline of that hike stopping along the way at two of the four springs they visited. We will launch our kayaks at the soft landing in downtown Welaka and paddle downstream to Welaka Spring past the site where the Bartrams camped atop Johnson’s Bluff on the night of their historic hike. We will continue downstream past Nashua Spring to Satsuma Spring where we will go ashore and, standing in the footprints of the Bartrams, read their description of the site as it was over 250 years ago. We will return to our kayaks and paddle along the shoreline back to the launch site. This is a moderate 6 mile 3-4 hour paddle which includes a 20 minute stop at the halfway point. Paddlers should pack either a snack or lunch to enjoy along the way.


Sunday at 10am: Paddling in the Wake of the Barge of Untutored Horses

This paddle will follow the route of the barge of untrained ponies as it navigated from Spalding’s Lower Store to the pastures on the European shore of the St. Johns River. Paddlers will meet at the Riverfront and caravan 5 miles (15 minutes) to the site of the Historic Spalding’s Lower Store at Stokes Landing near Palatka. We will launch at Bartram Trail Site 13 and navigate through Seven Sisters Islands to the east shore of the River stopping along the way at the likely location where William Bartram swam with the untutored horses when they leaped from the barge in the fall of 1774 (Travels page 304-305). Hard core Bartram aficionados will have the opportunity to stop and swim where Billy swam however this is entirely optional since, just as in Bartram’s day, alligators can still be seen lurking among the nearby lily pads. This is an easy 3 mile paddle that, like Bartram will “return safe to the trading-house” for the return drive to the Riverfront around noon.


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Putnam County

Putnam County

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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