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Fun Facts About the Chassahowitzka River

a man riding on the back of a boat next to a tree

Fun Facts About the Chassahowitzka River

The Chassahowitzka (pronounced CHAZ – A – WIT – Skah) River, located in central west Florida,
borders 35,000 protected acres of Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission property. This
means that it is almost completely undeveloped and natural. It is made up of many spring-fed
creeks, canals, and lagoons just off the main river, and is affectionately referred to as “The Chaz.”
Exploring this river and its many unique elements is best done on a guided tour in 100% CLEAR
kayaks with Get Up and Go Kayaking!

Check out the fun facts about The Chaz below:

– The Seminole Indians were known to have been in the area during the Second Seminole
War (1835-1842). They gave the region the name Chassahowitzka, meaning “pumpkin hanging place.”

– The National Wildlife Refuge is currently home to about 250 species of birds, over 50 species of reptiles and at least 25 different species of mammals!
– The headwater begins in Homosassa, FL and flows about 12 miles to pour out into the Gulf of Mexico.

– Seven Sisters Springs is located at the headwater and is made up of multiple cave-like openings under the water that connect to each other. Think “swiss cheese” but limestone rock!

– The West Indian Manatee call the Chaz home during the colder months of Florida. This is because the springs that feed into the river are pumping our 70-72 degrees Fahrenheit of water constantly!

– The Chaz River area was reportedly used for liquor smuggling during the prohibition area. Al Capone is rumored to have owned property on the river!

– Most of the Chassahowitzka River is less than four feet deep; the entire river is very shallow making it great for airboats and kayaking!

– There are many short runs off the sides of the river that often lead to turquoise springs, hideaways of trees and lagoons, and a ton of options to explore! Baird creek is over a mile of a shallow canal that leads to a spring called The Crack, famous for perfectly clear water and an awesome rope swing. Take a kayak tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking to see for yourselves!

a river running through a forest


From $60

Explore “Old Florida” on The Chassahowitzka with us!  

Come explore old Florida on this unique 3-hour tour in 100% CLEAR kayaks! We will paddle through the lush, spring-fed waterways of the Chassahowitzka River, affectionately known to us locals as the Chaz.

The Chaz is surrounded by protected land, guaranteeing a truly natural, unspoiled Florida experience. Share the water with manatees, dolphins, alligators, river otters, and countless species of fish, and keep your eyes peeled for any of the unique species of birds above.