Seasoned paddlers rank the Withlacoochee among the most scenic rivers in the state. Located in a rural area west of Orlando and north of Tampa, the Withlacoochee has a gentle current, a canopy of old cypress trees and plenty of birds and gators for wildlife viewing. The river, the state's fourth largest, meanders through a state forest, whose campgrounds offer lovely picnic spots. Perhaps its remote location keeps the crowds down; on a sunny winter weekend, an 8-mile paddle involved encountering only a single other boat. The count for alligators? Four. Nobleton Canoe Outfitters will deliver you and a kayak or canoe upstream for either a 10, an 8 or a 5-mile float back to the outfitter's base, where you can get a bite to eat at the outdoor cafe. The outpost also rents a cabin. If you're considering a weekend, bring your bike and pedal It's a hidden gem, too! For more information, visit the state's site for the river.