Exploring the Old South Along the Suwannee River

Home to one of the most well-known rivers in the state of Florida, Suwannee County is historic, simplistic and iconic. The county boasts more than 70 freshwater springs, thick forests, a plethora of outdoor activities, and its uncharted terrain is unparalleled to any of its northern neighbors. The rolling hills and marshlands of Suwannee provide the perfect opportunity for adrenaline seekers and adventurers to explore original Florida soil, which was untouched by many until the late 1800s. Below is a one-day trip guide that navigates the historic, rugged Suwannee County landscape and highlights the best of what the area has to offer.

Suwannee River State Park

The Suwannee River State Park is dedicated to the historic and monumental role the Suwannee River has played throughout Florida history. The river originally served as the home to various Native Americans tribes, including the Apalachee and Timucuan Indians. It’s also the site where various 19th century steamboats and Union Navy gunboats traveled during the Civil War era in America. Visitors can still see remnants from both of these time periods today.

The Suwannee River State Park lies at the intersection of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers, and boasts beautiful landscapes and lush scenery. Along the rivers’ shorelines, visitors are welcome to hike and bike among the Park’s various trails and paths. These trails also provide wildlife encountering and birding opportunities, as the Park is filled with herons, egrets, red-shouldered hawks, freshwater fish, turtles and alligators.

Boat ramps, campsites and cabins are available onsite. For more information or to book a stay in one of the Park’s shoreline cabins, please use the Park’s website.

On the Suwannee River in Dixie County (3)

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Lining the 206-mile long Suwannee River is the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. It’s a woodsy pathway that carves out the side of the Suwannee River, navigating the wet glades and the cool, sandy river shoreline. An assortment of river camps, state parks, springs and other natural playgrounds dot the bank of Suwannee River, and offer various aquatic and onshore activities. Visitors are encouraged to trek the path to observe the different wildlife and ecosystems that inhabit the area, or dive, swim or paddle the refreshing freshwater.

Small boats are allowed on the Suwannee River via boat ramp, which are plotted along the trail, and outside vendors allow visitors to rent kayaks, canoes and other small paddle boats.

suwannee-river-wilderness-trail-1

 

Accommodations

Suwannee County has mutiple stay and extended stay options. Hotels in the area including Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites (Lake City) and Quality Inn. Campsites are also available in the area, and popular sites include the River Run Campground, the Spirit of Suwannee and the Suwannee River State Park. Suwannee County is equipped with many restaurants, as well. Local favorites include the Crossroads Market & Grill, Ellianos Coffee Co. and Marion Street Deli and Pub. For more information on the restaurants in Suwannee County, or in the Lake City area, use this link.