Big Shoals State Park
About Big Shoals State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
Please be aware that there is hunting occurring in certain areas of Big Shoals Public Lands. For further information visit the Wildlife Conservation Commission Webpage at http://myfwc.com/recreation.
Coming Soon: Turkeys, Gopher Tortoises and Quail!
This summer Big Shoals participated in a timber harvest; a joint effort between the Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Park Service. We aim to restore the natural communities along the Woodpecker trail through the reintroduction of fire. Harvesting offsite hardwoods and thinning some pine trees was the first step in this long process. The initial effects of the harvest may be shocking as timber harvesting is not a pretty sight, but over time this area will be restored to its natural beauty and wildlife populations will increase. In a couple of years Big Shoals will be more beautiful than ever. If you have any questions regarding this timber harvest, please feel free to contact me, Michelle Waterman, Park Manager at 386-397-2733.
The 5th Annual Pumpkin Fest is October 19, 2013 from 3:30pm until 7:30pm! This is an event the whole family can enjoy. Contests will be held so bring a pumpkin and a costume and get ready for fun!!! Admission is $2 per person or $4 per carload and includes entry into all contests, drinks and snacks, live music, hayride through the woods, twilight camp fire with marshmallow roasting and a park ranger lead hike with hundreds of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats! Everyone is invited to stay after Pumpkin Fest to watch the Mexican Free Tailed Bats fly!
Big Shoals offers just about every outdoor activity you can imagine, hiking, biking, paddling, birding, and more. Pack your camera and picnic lunch and come check out Florida's only class III rapids! When the water level on the Suwannee River is between 59 and 61 feet above mean sea level, the Big Shoals rapids earn a Class III Whitewater classification. Please contact the Ranger Station for accurate river levels.
Big Shoals Public Lands offer over 6 miles of river frontage in the park where visitors can hike the trails along the riverbanks. We invite you to walk the beautiful nature trails or have a nice picnic under the oaks. This is a day you'll long remember, the ideal family outing. Big Shoals State Park also offers you a chance to be able to view numerous birding and wildlife opportunities while hiking, biking or horseback riding some of the 28 miles of trails within the park. For those people that like to hike in the late afternoon, we have a bat house at the Big Shoals entrance, which everyone should see. Anyone that sticks around for the sunset will be able to see hundreds of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats fly out of the bat house at sunset.
Please remember to exercise caution while visiting the park and spending time in any outdoor setting. Ticks are prevalent in many outdoor environments; including State Parks. We strongly encourage you to use repellant while visiting our park for your safety. Typical tick borne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and the more common Ehrichliosis. Repellant is sold at the Stephen Foster State Park Gift Shop for your convenience. According to the Florida Dept. of Health, most tick bites do not result in illness; therefore treatment is not recommended unless a person becomes ill.
There is a Volunteer Host site at the Big Shoals entrance of the park. This site provides volunteers with a concrete pad and hook-ups for an RV or Motor home. If you are in the mood for a change of pace, then consider volunteering and living in the middle of the Real Florida.
For more information on canoeing and kayaking on the Suwannee please visit the http://floridastateparks.org/wilderness/Suwannee River Wilderness Trail web page.
See our Activities page for a complete listing of all Big Shoals has to offer you and your family. For additional information call Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park Ranger Station at 386-397-4331.
- Big Shoals State Park is located on County Road 135, one mile northeast of U.S. 41 in White Springs.
- From I-75, take Exit 439 to Hwy 136 East. Go three miles to U.S. 41 and turn right.Go one mile and turn left on Hwy 135. Little Shoals entrance is 1.1 miles on the right.Continue on Hwy 135 for 2.2 miles for Godwin Bridge entrance on the right.
- From I-10, take Exit 301 and travel eight miles on U.S. 41 North. Turn right onto Hwy 135 and proceed to the Shoals entrances.
- For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.