Experiences & Amenities
While the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail is predominately a paddling trail on the Suwannee River, the Suwannee River Basin offers a number of opportunities to explore the surrounding area by bicycle. Some of the many biking trails are listed below.
- Big Shoals State Park offers more than 30 miles of wooded trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The Woodpecker Trail, a 4-mile-long multipurpose paved trail, connects the Little Shoals and Big Shoals entrances to the park. A variety of trail challenges for bicyclists are available. Enjoy 13 natural communities along 33 miles of trail.
- The Suwannee Bicycle Association hosts a Fat-Tire Festival in White Springs in the fall and weekend rides throughout the year. The town of White Springs accommodates bicyclists with marked riding lanes through town along Highway 41.
- At Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, the Hammock Loop Trail is an 8-mile single-track mountain biking and hiking trial. Catfish Hole, the Suwannee River Overlook, “Beaver Crossing” and other unique areas along this scenic trail provide bikers with an exclusive adventure throughout the Upper Suwannee River Valley’s diverse topography. Bikers traverse some of the most beautiful natural features including high river bluffs and limestone outcroppings, fun elevations throughout the floodplain swamp forest, and many other beautiful and scenic natural communities within the 800-acre park.
- Suwannee River State Park’s trails offer a variety of challenges to cyclists from the paved park drive to off-road bicycle trails through hardwood canopies, pine and palmetto forests, and alongside the bluffs overlooking the Suwannee River.
- The Suwannee River Greenway at Branford provides 12 miles of paved trail with beautiful Florida scenery. A rail-trail that stretches from the Suwannee River to the Ichetucknee River, you'll want to cool off with a swim or tube ride at both ends.
- The Nature Coast State Trail offers 31.7 miles of paved trails that connect the communities of Cross City, Trenton, Fanning Springs and Chiefland. Among the trail's highlights is a historic train trestle that allows trail users to cross over the Suwannee River near Old Town. The trail is also close to Fanning Springs State Park and Andrews Wildlife Management Area.
- At Manatee Springs State Park, bicycles are welcome on all the park's roads. Mountain bikers can enjoy more than eight miles of wooded off-road trails within the park.
The Suwannee River Basin offers countless opportunities for birding! You will see a great variety while traveling the length of the Suwannee River. An exciting summer visitor is the swallow-tailed kite, which often can be seen skimming close to the water's surface before sailing back up to the sky.
There are a variety of parks and river camps along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail for camping.
- All platforms and campsites are currently available for reservations.
- Platforms and campsites that are not reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Advance reservations are encouraged.
There are excellent opportunities for fishing along the Suwannee River. Catfish, bass and bream are local favorites. Please make sure that you have your fishing license and know the regulations for the type of fishing that you will be doing. Get more information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
If horseback riding appeals to you, the Suwannee River Basin offers lots of opportunities to enjoy scenic trails. Proof of a negative Coggins test is required.
- Big Shoals State Park offers more than 30 miles of wooded trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The Woodpecker Trail, a 4-mile-long multipurpose paved trail, connects the Little Shoals and Big Shoals entrances to the park.
- Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park features a 4-mile-long multi-use trail available for horseback riding.
- Boarding stables, horse camping and guided trail rides are available at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park north of Live Oak. The private park also offers concerts, campgrounds and cabins, a restaurant, gift shop and general store.
- Horseback riding is available at Twin Rivers State Forest with 14,000 acres for recreation along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.
- The Suwannee Springs and Twin Rivers recreation hubs offer horseback riding on lands managed by the Suwannee River Water Management District.
- The north entrance of Lafayette Blue Springs State Park has extensive shared-use service roads that meander through a heavily forested area along the Suwannee River. Many people choose to park and unload their trailer near the ranger station then ride back along the well-packed dirt trail.
- The Suwannee River Greenway at Branford offers 12 miles of paved trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding. This rail-trail provides beautiful views of Old Florida.
- Explore over 20 miles of trails at O'Leno and River Rise state parks. End the day camping overnight with your horses. Located near the entrance to the park, the horse camp has primitive campsites, restrooms, and a 20-stall horse barn available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping fees are paid first at O'Leno State Park before entering River Rise State Park.
- The Nature Coast State Trail offers 4.5 miles of equestrian trails running adjacent to the paved trail in the town of Fanning Springs.
Canoeing and kayaking are the best ways to get out and experience the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Bring your own boating gear or contact a local outfitter for rentals and transportation. Take a look at the Suwannee River Water Management District's Boat Ramp Map to find suitable launch and take-out locations and to plan your daily river mileage.