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Florida Wildlife

 Suwanee River
State Park

 

In Suwanee River State Park, the Withlacoochee River flows into the Suwanee. The view from an overlook includes the joining of the two rivers, and when the water level is low, you'll see springs emerging from the banks of both rivers. The park is located 13 miles west of the town of Live Oak, off U.S. 90.

While the park now covers an area of 1,800 acres, it began with the acquisition of 300 acres in 1936. This is a lovely, quiet place, where Lime Sink Run flows into the Suwanee, through outcrops of limestone; a home for much wildlife including beavers, with catfish and panfish ready for anglers to catch.

In previous days, the area was busier: when paddle steamers chugged along the Suwanee and Withlacoochee, carrying goods from plantations and logging enterprises, and transporting people up and down the rivers. South of the river junction, a military fortification -- an embankment -- was constructed by Confederates during the Civil War to protect the nearby railway bridge, a ferry landing, and a prominent sawmill. Within the park, all that remains of the old town of Columbia, built near the fortification, is a cemetery said to be one of the oldest in Florida.

Recreational opportunities are varied in this unique park. Activities center on camping, river canoeing and boating, and hiking. A boat ramp provides access to the Suwanee, and the Upper Suwanee River Canoe Trail, with its start in Georgia, ends in the park. The Lower Suwanee canoe route runs from the park to the Gulf of Mexico. You'll find a family campground, with picnic tables and grills.

The two walking trails are reserved for pedestrians only. The Suwanee River Trail runs along the banks of the river, providing fine views from on-high, and then along Lime Sink Run. This is an interpretive trail, with markers pointing out the hammock and its varied plant and animal life. The Sandhills Trail leads from the picnic area to the Columbia Cemetery, through an open pine forest -- quite a different experience from walking across the hammock. Part of this latter trail leads along an old stage route which ran across the state from Pensacola to Jacksonville during the early 1800s.

For information, contact the park headquarters at (904) 362-2746.

Tour

Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
Waccasassa Bay State Preserve
The Lower Suwanee
Manatee Springs and O'leno State Parks
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Peacock Springs State Recreation Area
Suwanee River State Park
Attractions Below the Big Bend

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