Four Rivers Emerge

Four rivers impressively emerge from the Green Swamp. They are the Hillsborough, Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha and Peace rivers. These rivers provide much of central Florida’s water supply. Check out these stats and visit our other virtual watershed excursions to learn more about these rivers.

Hillsborough River

  • Total length: 55 miles
  • Headwaters: Green Swamp in southeast Pasco County
  • Tributaries: Crystal Springs, Blackwater Creek, Flint Creek, Trout Creek, Cypress Creek, Curiosity Creek and Sulphur Springs
  • Mouth: Hillsborough Bay
  • Average fall: 1.4 feet/mile
  • Drainage area: 690 square miles

Withlacoochee River

  • Total length: 157 miles
  • Headwaters: Green Swamp in northwestern Polk and southern Sumter counties
  • Tributaries: Little Withlacoochee, Big Gant Canal, Jumper Creek, Shady Brook, Outlet River of Lake Panasoffkee, Leslie Heifner Canal, Orange State Canal, Tsala Apopka Outfall Canal and Rainbow Springs
  • Mouth: Gulf of Mexico, Yankeetown in Citrus County
  • Average fall: 0.9 feet/mile
  • Drainage area: 2,000 square miles

Peace River

  • Total length: 120 miles
  • Headwaters: Green Swamp in northern Polk County through Lake Hancock, Winter Haven chain of lakes, and Lake Hamilton
  • Tributaries: Peace Creek Canal, Saddle Creek, Charlie Creek, Prairie Creek, Horse Creek, Joshua Creek and Shell Creek
  • Mouth: Port Charlotte
  • Average fall: 1 foot/mile
  • Drainage area: 2,300 square miles

Ocklawaha River (no excursion available)

  • Total length: 72.2 miles
  • Headwaters: Green Swamp near Lake Apopka
  • Tributaries: Palatlakaha River, Silver River and Orange Creek
  • Mouth: St. Johns River near the town of Welaka
  • Average fall: 0.75 feet/mile between Lake Emma to mouth of Lake Harris
  • Drainage area: 2,120 square miles