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Suwannee River Report
(White Springs, Florida)

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Report By:  lynette422001    Date: 4/22/2010 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 2 photos     Map & Directions: View

72 mile paddle from highway 41 in White Springs to highway 51 near Lafayette Blue Springs State Park

My Report:

Myself and 3 companions paddled from White Springs 72 miles on the Suwannee River.

This trip started out as an Everglades trip but I could only recruit one other paddler for the trip and, frankly, an area as remote as the Everglades calls for a somewhat larger group. If you are interested in a 7-10 day Everglades paddle this coming January, please email me.

When I changed the site to the Suwannee, I suddenly had a group of 4. Go figure. Also, I picked the Suwannee because at the time, water levels were at record high levels. However , by the time we started, they had dropped to usual levels. Not to complain. At about 53 the paddling was actually fine, we had good currents all week. The Suwannee changes rapidly.

We all had a long drive to the site so stayed overnght at the Telford Hotel. This refurbished bed-and-breakfast was built in 1905 and is beautiful. It is clean comfortable, affordable, and the staff are great. The Telford serves a buffet lunch every day and evening buffet on the weekends. Very good. We also ate at Fat Belly's, the only other restaurant in town and it was very good as well. I had catfish.

American Canoe Adventures supplied us with shuttle service and parking for a reasonable fee. Contact them at 386-397-1309.

The River was breathtaking, with magnificent tree sculptures and astounding limestone banks. We saw sturgeon, deer, mullet, cardinals, swallow tail hawks, and many other creatures.

We stayed at River Camps for 3 nights. These sites, developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, have screened shelters, hot water showers, bathrooms, fire rings with firewood, and picnic tables. They make camping very comfortable and vehicle access is limited. We stayed at Woods Ferry, Holton Creek, and Dowling Park. At low water levels, it is a very long haul from the water to the campsite. We solved this problem by having our meals at the water's edge and taking only personal items up to the platforms.

As other writers have reported, primitive campsites on the Suwannee can be hard to find because much of the property is restricted and the banks frequently change shape. For this reason, it is best to make reservations and use the River Camps. My group found the Hubs (such as Suwannee River State Park and Advent Christian Village), to be really not well suited to our needs.

We found a very nice primitive site on a bluff at the confluence of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, next to the Florida Trail. There is also a sandbar a little further downstream which, according to the locals, is stable and sees regular use. There is also a primitive site about 8 miles downstream from Suwannee RIver State park on the right (west) side. Look for a dilapidated boat ramp and a picnic table. There is also a fire ring.

Lafayette Blue Spring State Park has cabins and campsites. The campsites are available on a walk in basis only. Cabins can be reserved and are positively luxurious with AC, dishes, sheets, etc. If you choose the campsites, paddle downstream from the marked boat ramp and look on your right about 100 yards for a nice sloping beach. This leads to the campsite and is a short distance. The spring is beautiful and clear blue, with many turtles and fish and very nice swimming .

Here is a link to more information

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Location Data:

Difficulty: Easy
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Canoe
Distance (miles): 72
Fees/Costs $: $100

Photos from White Springs, Florida:    (Click image to view full size)

a tower No Comm
a tower

a building in White Springs

river camp No Comm
river camp

Suwannee River Wilderness trail

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsCall 800 868 9914 to reserve river camps and for more information

Post Date: 5/3/2010

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