Just a little tease from Wikipedia; Ocklawaha River From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia • Ten things you may not know about Wikipedia • Jump to: navigation, search The 110 mile long Ocklawaha River flows north from Central Florida until it joins the St. Johns River near Palatka, Florida. Its name is a corruption of ak-lowahe, Creek for "muddy". The source of the Ocklawaha River is Lake Griffin, part of the Harris Chain of Lakes in Lake County, Florida. The Ocklawaha River watershed includes parts of the Green Swamp, most of Lake county, and portions of Marion, Alachua, and Putnam counties. The largest of several large lakes in the Ocklawaha's watershed is the badly polluted Lake Apopka near Orlando. The Ocklawaha River is the principal tributary of the St. Johns River. The most important and famous tributary of the Ocklawaha is the Silver River, which carries the discharge from Silver Springs. Another important tributary of the Ocklawaha is Orange Creek, which flows from Orange Lake. Steamboat on the Ocklawaha, c. 1902 Steamboat on the Ocklawaha, c. 1902 The river was used extensively for steamboat transportation in the 1800s and early 1900s. Narrow steamboats were used to navigate the constrictive and winding river. In the 1870s, the route between Paltka and Silver Springs became very popular, and was used by prominent figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas A. Edison, and Mary Todd Lincoln to visit Silver Springs. The wild and scenic trip up the river probably added a sense of adventure to a visit to Silver Springs. The popularity of the river route to Silver Springs declined after the arrival of railroad service to Ocala in 1881. The river has suffered severe ecological damage in the 20th century from fertilizer runoff, dredging, pollution and rerouting. The river narrowly escaped becoming part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. The river is a popular place to canoe, kayak and fish. The river forms the western boundary of the Ocala National Forest. Portions of the river remain mostly undisturbed by man. The natural landscapes and lush wildlife and growth of the outlying area are mostly hydric hammocks and flatwoods with scrub pine ridges and sugar sandy soils. Abundant wild life is present including wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and wading birds in this area. Outdoor recreational activities include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding, and paddling although there are few established trails. The Gores Landing Unit of Ocklawaha River WMA consists of almost 3,000 acres (12 km²) along the Ocklawaha River in eastern Marion County. The Ocklawaha River Basin is a primary tributary of the St. Johns River Water Management District.