Slinking out of the fabled Okefenokee Swamp, this dark force carves a great meandering path through perhaps the world’s highest concentration of natural freshwater springs. While she’s typically easy going, she has a famously feisty streak. She’s known for her bluffs, as well as her many noteworthy sidekicks.
The Suwannee River is unlike any other river in Florida. In fact, it is unique on this planet, boasting more than 300 springs within its watershed. And her feisty side? That would be known as Big Shoals, the only Class III rapids in Florida — they can actually be seen on Google Earth! Cooler still, this scenic river runs largely through wilderness and rural areas even today, well over 200 miles. So cool is this 200+ mile river that it has its own State Paddling Trail: The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.
There are many launch locations for paddling, as you will see with this Interactive Map. You can do an out and back paddle, a point to point paddle, or a multi-day paddle. Parks and amenities, including camp shelters, dot the shores of the river, including 7 with the word “spring” in their names.
At Suwannee River State Park, the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee. Here you’ll find many more miles of paddling on the Withlacoochee River South Paddling Trail. Downstream further the Suwannee is joined by the scenic Santa Fe River with its own Paddling Trail. Along the Santa Fe you’ll also find O’Leno and River Rise Preserve State Parks.
So check out the links, then make your plans to check out Florida’s most famous river…Way down upon Suwannee river, far, far away…
Florida State Parks; Suwannee River Wilderness Trail
Suwannee River Water Management District: Trail Map with Launch Locations
PS: The Suwannee is also the only place you’ll find Bob’s River Place, 2878 NE 340 Hwy, Branford, Florida 32008 Phone: (352) 542-7363