Floridian Nature

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Florida Nature: Suwannee River Area
Suwannee River Recreation are in Floridian NatureFor more than 20 years, local citizens, civic leaders and planners have shared a vision that the 206-mile long Suwannee River and the public parks and conservation lands along its banks could provide unique recreational and cultural experiences for Florida's citizens and visitors. Today, approximately 65,000 acres of land along the Suwannee River and about 130 miles (24 percent) of the river shorelines are in public ownership, acquired for purposes of both conservation and public recreation.

Blessed with Florida's renowned springtime climate, Florida's Suwannee River Valley is a perfect spot for outdoor recreation and sports. In addition to fabulous diving and water sports, visitors are thrilled to discover the area's wide range of outdoor diversions and recreational attractions. Florida's Suwannee River Valley, home to several state parks, campgrounds and retreats, offers a variety of activities centered on experiencing the lush natural environment and magnificent scenery. From camping or backpacking to fishing or bird watching, the options are endless.

The river hums with echoes of history –of the booming days of plantations and logging empires, of the high times of paddle-wheel boats steaming up and down the river, of the long disorientation after the Civil War, and of the quiet persistence of the strong pioneers who lived off this land and profited from the rivers.

Located 13 miles west of Live Oak Florida, the Suwannee River State Park offers both scenic and historic views. A high bluff overlooks the spot where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Vestiges of history in the park show how important the Suwannee River was to Florida history. Along the river are long mounds of earthworks built during the Civil War to guard against incursions by Union Navy gunboats. Other remnants from the past include one of the state´s oldest cemeteries, and a paddle-wheel shaft from a 19th century steamboat.


South of the junction of the rivers, an earthwork (an earthen embankment used as a military fortification) was constructed by the Confederates during the Civil War. Its main purpose was to protect the railroad bridge across the Suwannee. Essential supplies, such as beef, salt, and sugar needed to feed the Confederate armies, were shipped by rail to Georgia. Union troops dispatched from Jacksonville to capture the bridge were turned back near Olustee in a hard-fought battle on Feb. 20, 1864. The town of Columbus stood in the vicinity of the earthworks. The remains of the Columbus Cemetery, believed to be one of the oldest cemeteries of Florida, are within the park. Columbus had its heyday and prospered from its railroad bridge, ferry landing, and a large sawmill. Steamboats were a common sight on the Suwannee and Withlacoochee. Near the river’s junction stood the elegant house which belonged to George F. Drew, the operator of the sawmill, who became governor in 1876.

Five trails, ranging from a quarter mile to 18 miles, loop through surrounding woodlands and provide panoramic views of the rivers. Other activities include fishing, picnicking, and canoeing. Visitors can enjoy fishing along the bank of the Suwannee River. Catches of catfish, bass, and panfish reward the persistent angler. For overnight stays, the park has a full-facility campground and cabins. Both upper portions of the Suwannee River Canoe Trail and the Withlacoochee River Canoe Trail begin in Georgia and end at the park. The lower Suwannee River Canoe Trail begins at the park and ends at the Gulf of Mexico.

The scenic beauty of Florida and the water flowing gracefully down Turket Creek will make you feel great. This section of Turket Creek in Florida is 1 miles long and has been determined by American Whitewater to be a class III-IV section. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground.

Lush with animal life and uninterrupted by dams, Florida's Suwannee River is one of the most pristine and undeveloped river systems in the United States.

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Located 13 miles west of Live Oak Florida, the Suwannee River State Park offers both scenic and historic views. A high bluff overlooks the spot where the Withlacoochee River joins the Suwannee River on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Vestiges of history in the park show how important the Suwannee River was to Florida history. Along the river are long mounds of earthworks built during the Civil War to guard against incursions by Union Navy gunboats. Other remnants from the past include one of the state´s oldest cemeteries, and a paddle-wheel shaft from a 19th century steamboat.
Florida's Suwannee River Valley is a perfect spot for outdoor recreation and sports. In addition to fabulous diving and water sports, visitors are thrilled to discover the area's wide range of outdoor diversions and recreational attractions. Florida's Suwannee River Valley, home to several state parks, campgrounds and retreats, offers a variety of activities centered on experiencing the lush natural environment and magnificent scenery. From camping or backpacking to fishing or bird watching, the options are endless.
Suwannee River Recreational Area
Date published: 10/23/2013
5 / 5 stars