Welcome to Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park - Florida's newest state park - located along the west coast of Pasco County. Only a small section of the park is open for landside access, with an entrance off Scenic Drive. However, the park is open for exploration by kayak or canoe. With over four miles of frontage on the Gulf of Mexico, natural springs, and twelve navigable streams to explore, it is truly a kayaker's dream come true. For more information about the park, visit the official park service webpage at http://www.floridastateparks.org/wernerboyce/default.cfm. For a detailed history of the Salt Springs going back before the Civil War, see http://pascocemeteries.org/salt_springs.html. And for information about how you can volunteer to help in the development of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, see http://www.saltspringsalliance.com.
Currently, there are no kayak launch points within the park. Once the main entrance to the park (on the west side of U.S. 19 just north of Ridge Road) is opened, a kayak launch facility is planned. But for now, the nearest launch point for access to the southern part of the Park is at Brasher Park at the end of Koons Road in Port Richey - illustrated by a yellow pushpin in the map below.
Note: the north extension of Old Post Road leads to the Pasco County Energy Marine Center (owned by Pasco County Schools) and the State Park headquarters, and is not a public road. There are no publicly accessible kayak/canoe launch sites in this area.
This Salt Springs Run kayak series takes you on a two and a half mile tour of the southernmost creek in the park with its source at Salt Spring and its mouth at the Gulf just north of Brasher Park at Cow Key. The round trip will be just over five miles. There are twelve caches in the series - illustrated by red pushpins in the map below. All are match holders that should be accessible any time except low tide. If you want to find all twelve caches in one trip, you should plan to make a day of it. Bring enough water, snacks and sunscreen to last for 4 to 5 hours. I have not personally found insect repellent necessary, but it always pays to be prepared. There are some areas along the route that have strong tidal currents, so you may want to plan your trip so that you leave the Brasher Park launch point about 2 to 3 hours before a high tide so that you can paddle up stream with an incoming tide, and return with an outgoing tide.
Note: All of the geocaches in this series may be accessed without leaving your boat. In fact, there are very few places in the wetlands area where land access is convenient. While kayak and canoe access to the park is welcomed, please respect the natural habitats and nesting areas by refraining from hiking and exploring on foot in the wetlands area.
Cache #1 in the series is on the north shore of an island at the mouth of Salt Springs Run, just east of Cow Key. You'll be looking for a match holder tethered to a dead mangrove branch. If the tide is not at least 2 feet, your journey to the cache from the launch point at Brasher Park will have to be chosen carefully to keep from running aground.
Geocaches were placed with permission of Larry Steed, park manager.
Congratulations to afishindude and AJP327219 for the FTF!