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The Suwannee River winding its way under trees overhanging the banks.
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The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail will be a system of hubs and river camps, spaced a convenient day's travel apart, so that visitors can enjoy a lazy day trip or a multi-day adventure on the Suwannee.

Hubs are towns or parks from which visitors can explore the river and its surrounding areas by canoe or boat, bicycle, horse, automobile or on foot. A wide range of goods and services are provided to meet visitors' needs. Visitors can enjoy special events, shopping and other activities. River Camps are located a day's paddle between hubs. Accessible only from the river, the camps provide covered camping platforms, primitive camping and restrooms with hot showers.

The Carillon Tower at White Springs, Florida made of red brick and towering high above all the trees.

White Springs and Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail begins in White Springs, located along the upper Suwannee River. Here, the river is narrow and flows through towering pines and stately cypress that line steep riverbanks and high bluffs. Limestone cliffs and outcroppings, and white sandbars make the upper Suwannee an ideal setting for picnics and leisurely canoe or kayak outings.

Antique and art shops, B&Bs and restaurants entice visitors to stay awhile in White Springs. Stop by local outfitters to customize a paddling trip, a half-day paddling trip or an overnight adventure, including a trip to Big Shoals, Florida¿s only Class III white-water rapids.

While in White Springs, visit Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, with museums highlighting the musical career of the artist who made the Suwannee River famous. Stephen Foster¿s campground, vacation cabins and canoe launch make it an ideal base camp for exploring the area.

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is famous for its music concerts. This private park also offers RV, tent and primitive camping and cabins. Visitors enjoy the restaurant and country store. A full service stable and horse camping are available. Horses are for rent.

An elevated cabin nestled in the trees along the banks of the Suwannee River.

Suwannee River State Park at Ellaville

Suwannee River State Park is a perfect place for spending time on the Suwannee River. Just inside the park, you¿ll find a high bluff that overlooks the spot where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, hiking and picnicking are favorite activities in this park. Stay in one of five beautiful cabins or camp in the full-facility campground.

Dowling Park

At Dowling Park, visitors find the Advent Christian Village, a retirement community on 1,000 acres on the historic Suwannee River. Visitors can stay at the Village Lodge, shop at the grocery store or visit the café. Medical facilities are available. Bird-watching, hiking and fishing are popular. Camp Suwannee River Excursions is ready with canoeing packages of your choice for a day on the river. Paddlers are welcome to visit to use facilities, take showers and picnic based on the vacancy rate. The lodge will also make arrangements for you to go horseback riding at a nearby stable.

A family enjoying a meal at a picnic table among tents in a shady wooded area.

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park near Mayo

Swimming and snorkeling in the spring is refreshing on a hot summer's day. River fishing is popular. 10 campsites are provided with water and 110 electric, and a group primitive camping area is also available at Lafayette Blue Springs State Park. Camping is available on a walk-in or paddle-in, first come, first serve basis. Portable restroom facilities are available. A restroom facility with a cold-water outdoor shower is available in the spring area. This park is accessible by boat from the Suwannee River as well as by car.


The river widens along the lower Suwannee near Branford. Sandy banks become lower and slope gently toward the river. Located in the heart of Florida's spring and river country, Branford is 20 minutes from High Springs, Live Oak, and Mayo-towns along the "Antique Trail."

Branford features many businesses including hotels/motels, convenience stores, restaurants, outfitters and many others. This is a great town for refreshing supplies or setting up base camp.

A sunny, screened cabin along the edge of a woodsy area in a State park.

Fanning Springs

The town of Fanning Springs, on U.S. 19 in Gilchrist County, offers restaurants, motels and the popular Fanning Springs State Park, where visitors can take a swim in the crystal clear waters of the spring. Vacation cabins are available for lodging. For more information, visit the Fanning Springs Chamber of Commerce.


A fishcamp/motel in Suwannee provides quick access to both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Campgrounds and motels are available in nearby Chiefland, Cross City and Old Town. Suwannee is an excellent base camp for anglers and seafood lovers. Anglers can cast for largemouth bass in the river or in freshwater creeks. The Suwannee and its tributaries are home to the Suwannee Bass, which is smaller than a largemouth bass and has a distinctive feature: red eyes. Redfish and speckled trout are found in grass beds at the mouth of the river. Grouper, Spanish mackerel and other saltwater catches are a short boat ride to the Gulf of Mexico.

Local restaurants serve fresh seafood-both saltwater and freshwater-a double delight. The Lower Suwannee runs deep and wide. Houseboats make fine vessels for cruising the lower 70 miles of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and visitors can rent one from Miller's Marina (training included) for several days.

Learn more about the town of Suwannee from the Suwannee Chamber of Commerce.

Outfitters / Supplies Florida State Parks

The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail is a cooperative effort of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and the counties, cities, businesses and citizens of the Suwannee River Basin.

The listing of these private partners is for information purposes only and not an endorsement of that partner by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida State Parks or the Suwannee River Water Management District.

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail
(800) 868-9914

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Recreation and Parks
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32399
Copyright © 2006