We rented a canoe from Santa Fe Canoe Outpost - they were friendly & easy to deal with and very inexpensive. We paid $36 (price varies based on where they are picking you up from) and that included pick up service. We chose the Rum Island pick up point. We went on a weekday in July & for the first hour did not run into anyone else on the river.
We saw several small alligators, a bazillion turtles on logs, some blue tailed skinks (very cool) , and a few deer in the woods. The river is clean & brown (due to tannic acid from tree leaves) - but when you get to a spring area it is crystal clear. It took longer than I thought to get to the first spring run (Poe Springs) - too long to be sitting on a plain metal canoe seat with no padding. We tied up the canoe & swam/snorkeled in the springs. Poe Springs had a public bathroom area - but no concessions. Poe Springs was very pretty - there was also a nature trail/boardwalk there which is where we saw the blue tailed skinks. There were a few families there - but definitely not crowded.
Next, we paddled into Lily springs - which was small & apparently famous for a strange naked man called "Naked Ed". We paddled in & back out - but some other people stopped to chat with the naked person. We ended up at Rum Springs - which had only port-o-lets and again no concession area (darn.) Rum Springs was a pretty little park - but not a lot to look at in terms of the spring itself. It had a somewhat crowded swimming area.
We enjoyed the trip but if I did it again I would pack a cooler with food/beverages (we only had bottled water) and I would definitely want some sort of padding on the canoe seat. We brought our own snorkel masks. It was about a 4 hour trip from start to pick up time.
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