Natural North Florida’s Gilchrist Blue Springs is Now Florida’s Newest State Park, 11/1/17

Florida now has 175 State Parks, and everyone’s excited that the transition from private to public for Gilchrist Blue Springs is now  a “done deal”.  The property, which contains six natural springs and includes approximately one mile of frontage along the Santa Fe River, has been providing recreational opportunities as a private park since 1958. …

Big Parks, Big Springs–Small Parks, Small Springs–A Few Suwannee River Favorites!

The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home) words and music by Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864) FIRST VERSE Way down upon de Swanee Ribber, Far, far away, Dere’s wha my heart is turning ebber, Dere’s wha de old folks stay. All up and down de whole creation Sadly I roam, Still longing for de old plantation, …

Visit Springs Along The Santa Fe River in Columbia, Gilchrist and Alachua County

The Santa Fe River traverses several counties in the Natural North Florida region.  It begins upstream of the town of  Worthington Springs in southern Union County, and eventually flows into the mighty Suwannee River at Three Rivers Estates.  The river flows downstream to O’Leno State Park in Columbia County  where it drops into the Karst …

Second To Only The MIghty Suwannee River–Natural North Florida’s “Minor” Rivers

It’s tough when you have to say that some of our Natural North Florida Rivers are “minor”, but the 240-mile-long Suwannee River is hard to keep out of first place.  It’s long, it’s free-flowing with no dams or obstructions, and it’s beautiful.  But there are others in our region that are smaller, but no less …

Fishing October’s Lower Tides on the Gulf Coast

One thing I can’t predict is the weather or wind, and it turned out that we had a fair amount of the latter this past weekend when Hurricane Matthew chewed up Florida’s east coast.  Big storms like Matthew produce winds on both coasts. However, it looked like our fish didn’t really care. Trout and reds …

Get Lost (Or Not!) At Dixie County Florida’s Shired Island

Dixie County has a few “roads to nowhere”, but Hwy 357 actually goes “somewhere”.  It runs from about the mid-point of Hwy 351 between Cross City and Horseshoe Beach to Shired Island.  Shired Island is bounded by Shired Creek and Johnson Creek and connected to “land” by a short bridge over Shired Creek. Once you …

Take a Houseboat Trip on Florida’s Mighty Suwannee River

One of Natural North Florida’s truly great adventures begins at Gateway Marina in the village of Suwannee, at the mouth of the mighty Suwannee River.  The river begins some 260 miles north, in the Okeefenokee Swamp of south Georgia, and is navigable about 70 miles from its southern end, at the Gulf of Mexico. Gateway’s …

Heading to Cedar Key, FL With Your Boat? Don’t Forget The Backwaters Near The #4 Channel

Anglers and boaters headed to Cedar Key are sometimes put off by the crowds at the downtown boat basin.  Yes, they’re closer to the Gulf of Mexico, and there’s an inside and an outside ramp.  If you use the inside ramp, you’ll be in the shallow boat basin and if your boat has a T-top …

Southbound To Yankeetown (Florida, That Is!)

I remember my first encounter with the waters near the mouth of the Withlacoochee River. It was the mid-1980s and my Mom and Dad had just moved from St. Pete to Yankeetown. Our boat, a Boston Whaler Montauk, was well suited to drifting the flats off Pinellas Point or for trolling for Spanish mackerel near …

Swim, Snorkel, SCUBA, Paddle, Camp, Play at Florida’s Manatee Springs State Park

The first-magnitude spring at Manatee Springs State Park produces an average of 100 million gallons of clear, cool water daily. In winter, West Indian manatees swim upriver to the warmer waters of the springs. Popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are also a great spot for swimming. The spring run …