Florida Guide > Other Florida
Suwannee River Hubs
The Suwannee River in northern Florida provides the state with a wonderful natural resource. On its meandering 200-mile course, from the Georgia state line through to its discharge point into the Gulf of Mexico, the river showcases some areas of outstanding natural beauty. It can boast imposing limestone cliffs, towering pine and cypress trees as well as some wonderful white sandbars in mid channel which are ideal spots for picnicking and paddling.
The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail has a system of hubs and river camps conveniently spaced a day’s canoe paddle apart. This allows the visitor to enjoy either a lazy day at just one location or a multi-day adventure on the Suwannee, irrespective of their entry point.
The river camps not only provide basic shelter and accommodation but also have a range of additional facilities including scuba diving, snorkelling, hiking, cycling, fishing and some guided trail walks.
However, the main hubs along the Suwannee consist of small towns and can be considered outdoor centres in their own right. They are ideal for the day tripper as well the intrepid canoeist looking for a place to rest and refresh after a long day’s paddle.
White Springs is the northernmost starting point for the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.
Although its main businesses are related to canoe hire and day trip on the river, there are number of fine antique and art shops to browse. The town boasts some fine seafood restaurants and overnight accommodation in friendly Bed and Breakfast establishments is readily available. White Springs is also the entry point for Big Shoals State Park, a four mile tributary flowing into the Suwannee, which is home to Florida’s only Class Three white water rapids.
The town of Brantford in the middle section of the Wilderness Trail and has a number of restaurants, hotels and convenience stores. It is a great stopping off place to explore ‘spring country’ with several natural springs, great for swimming, within a matter of minutes from the town centre. Brantford is also one of the towns on the ‘Antique Trail’ and others such as Mayo and Live Oak are less than twenty minutes away.
Further south is Fanning Springs which has a few restaurants, small motels and outfitters.
It is most popular for Fanning Springs State Park. The spring pumps out sixty five million gallons of crystal clear water daily at a constant seventy two degrees making it a perfect spot for swimming. There are nature trails and boardwalks overlooking the Suwannee and its not unusual to see manatees during the winter months.
Our final stop is in Suwannee, where the river flows into the Gulf of Mexico. It provides some of the best saltwater and freshwater fishing locations in the state and local restaurants specialise in sea bass, speckled trout, mackerel and snapper.
Whatever starting point on the Suwannee you decide to make there will always be something to close by grab your attention and make your day or multi-day trip one to remember.
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