Manager's Message

 Big Shoals State Park

Manny Perez, Park Manager

Big Shoals State Park offers 28 miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, Big Shoals offers fantastic bird-watching opportunities. Late afternoon is a good time to be near the bat house at the Big Shoals entrance. Anyone who sticks around for sunset will be able to see hundreds of Mexican free-tailed bats fly out.

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. Contact the ranger station for accurate river levels. Kayaking the Shoals is not recommended; please use the portage around the Big Shoals.

While exploring the park, please be prepared. Remember to stay hydrated and wear appropriate footwear. Ticks are prevalent in many outdoor environments, including state parks. For your safety, we strongly encourage you to use bug repellent when visiting the park. According to the Florida Department of Health, most tick bites do not result in illness.

If you would enjoy a change of pace, then consider volunteering and living in the middle of the Real Florida. There is a volunteer host site with a concrete pad and hook-ups for a RV at the Big Shoals entrance of the park.

For more information on canoeing and kayaking on the Suwannee, please visit Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail.

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's ranger station at 386-397-4331.

Big Shoals is located near other awe-inspiring state parks: Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State ParkOlustee Battlefield Historic State ParkSuwannee River State ParkSuwannee River Wilderness TrailMadison Blue Springs State ParkLafayette Blue Springs State ParkIchetucknee Springs State Park and O’Leno River State Park, just to name just a few!