Juniper Run

Area Status: Open

Kayaker drifting down a spring with vegetation on both sides.

Named one of the top 25 canoe runs in America by ReserveAmerica and typically a high point of a visit to Florida, Juniper Run is a narrow, winding waterway set under a dense canopy of old-growth forest and few places solid enough to get out of your canoe. The seven-mile journey starts just below the springs and follows the spring run through the heart of the Juniper Prairie Wilderness to a take-out off SR 19, well before the run empties into the St. Johns River at Lake George. Juniper Run is popular year-round. Please keep in mind that temperatures may be cool in the winter and afternoon thunderstorms may be frequent in the summer. 


  • Canoeing and kayaking are the only permitted activities along Juniper Run.
  • The waterway varies greatly in depth and width and passes under many low-hanging trees in the first several miles. Pull-off and take-out points are very limited due to the narrow channel and the nature of the surrounding terrain. 


  • Visitors planning to use their own kayaks/canoes to paddle Juniper Run, must arrive and launch before 1 p.m. daily. If using personal motorized vehicles to shuttle between locations, the vehicles must be staged before launching.
  • Inflatable items including rafts, johnboats, inner tubes and inflatable kayaks are not permitted. This is for public safety, to protect the environment and provide visitors a more pleasant wilderness experience.

Wildlife Viewing

  • The dense, jungle-like forests surrounding Juniper Springs and Juniper Run - as well as the waterway itself - are home to wildlife that you might not commonly see elsewhere. Among the more interesting residents of our natural communities are the albino gray squirrels seen near the Mill House, the otters that play along the edges of the spring run, and the American eels that migrate out to the Sargasso Sea to spawn, returning to Juniper Springs to live. Just before the take-out point near SR 19, the waterway broadens to encompass wetlands teeming with wading birds and wildlife, providing a different perspective on paddling in Florida.

This site is operated by Adventure Ocala. Please visit their website and contact them for more details about this recreation site.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Sites may close when capacity is reached.
Rentals & Guides: Visitors who want to paddle Juniper Run must bring their own kayaks/canoes, arrive before 1 p.m. and arrange their own return transportation. The shuttle service is not running and kayak rentals are not available.
Usage: Heavy
  • Inflatable items such as tubes, boats and kayaks are not permitte.
  • Dogs and other pets are not allowed.
  • Disposable containers; take-out trays, foil, plastic cups, wrappers, etc., are not permitted.
Closest Towns: Astor and Forest Corners

General Information

General Notes:


  • Accessible walkways and nature trail
  • Tent & RV campsites: 79 unique sites
  • Flush toilets
  • Interpretive site (Old Mill House)
  • Non-potable water 
  • Parking
  • Picnic tables

Licenses and Passes


  • Boating in the National Forests in Florida is regulated by the state of Florida. Please visit our boating web page before you grab your personal floatation device and head out onto the water.  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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