What Florida’s Dixie County doesn’t have in the way of population or big cities (Cross City is the “big city”!), it makes up for in laid-back and remote coastal towns. While Suwannee and Horseshoe Beach are the most prominent spots on the map (they have restaurants, marinas, condos to rent and boat ramps), Shired Island is just a “spot” at the end of a 9-mile drive south from the intersection of lonely CR351 and CR357 (there’s a sign!). And CR357 isn’t a busy road either, as it connects downtown Cross City and US19 to Horseshoe Beach. As someone once said, “you have to want to go to Shired Island to go to Shired Island”!
If you’re a fisherman, or someone looking for a nice primitive camping adventure, consider heading to Shired Island. There, you’ll find a nice boat ramp that can handle small boats, including airboats, shallow draft flats skiff and of course, paddlecraft. You can also launch from the beach at the park’s campground, which has a restroom, cold showers and garbage containers.
If camping’s not your thing, you might want to consider staying in either Horseshoe Beach or Cross City. Suwannee is a possibility, and there’s a shortcut (The Dixie Mainline) between CR357 and CR449 at Suwannee. Compass Realty in Horseshoe Beach is a good place to contact regarding lodging there, and I highly recommend the Putnam Lodge in Cross City for lodging and food.