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Town of Welaka



About Us

Before the European involvement in North America, the Timucuan Indians called the St. Johns River Welaka or “River of Lakes”.

In 1780, the British created an outpost in Welaka called the Fort Gates. Later, United State Forces established a ferry service that assisted troops crossing the river during the Seminole Indian Wars. This ferry service, Florida’s oldest, still exists today, enabling passenger cars accessibility to the Ocala National Forest on the west bank.

By the mid-1880s, Welaka had become a resort town that attracted visitors seeking medicinal cures from the many springs that provided mineral water. By 1906,Welaka was a Mecca for those seeking the “healing waters”.

Today, the small town of Welaka is a popular destination for freshwater fisherman and folks seeking a scenic riverfront retreat.

Visitors to this quaint town can explore the Welaka State Forest’s many hiking trails, enjoy bird watching in the many parks, visit the National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, or hire a boat to explore the majestic St. Johns River.


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