Tag Archives: Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Cone Bridge, Big Shoals Portage, to Suwannee Wayside Park, Suwannee River, 2019-05-04

This 15.6 mile paddle includes a strenuous portage around Big Shoals, the biggest whitewater rapids in Florida and paddling over a smaller set of rapids at Little Shoals. Due to the portage which involves climbing up and down steep, sandy banks with kayaks, carrying kayaks 300 feet and lifting over downed trees, this trip is listed as difficult. You must be physically able to get back into your kayak on the slippery edge of this swift moving section of the Suwannee River. We help each other as much as possible, but ultimately you are responsible for your boat. We will take a break at the shoals and enjoy the outstanding view. No one is paddling over the shoals and this portage is the only way around.

When: Gather 8:30 AM, Launch 10 AM, Thursday, May 4, 2019

Put In: Cone Bridge Ramp, From Lake City, travel north on US 441 to NW Cone Bridge Road; turn left and follow road to ramp in Columbia County.

GPS: 30.445156, -82.670845

Take Out: Suwannee Wayside Ramp, From White Springs, travel south on US 41 to the river; the ramp is on the south side in the town park. Hamilton County.

Bring: a rope to drag your boat, the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit.

Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Cone Bridge Boat Ramp, 2015-11-22
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Cone Bridge Boat Ramp, 2015-11-22

This paddle is on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). Continue reading

Florida buys Hardee Spring on the Withlacoochee River

Florida bought second magnitude Hardee Spring, with its karst window and 1.6 miles of Withlacoochee River frontage!

Map: River Error Farms Inc., Hardee Spring, Hamilton County, FL
Map from SRWMD PARCEL ASSESSMENT SUMMARY.

The new Florida state administration has done some surprising things, such as revoking dozens of appointments by the previous governor, but this one is really surprising. I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended this purchase to the Suwannee River Water Management (SRWMD) Board. SRWMD had written up a property assessment on it years ago, but I thought the asking price of $8.5 million for River Error Farm was prohibitive. Apparently the state got Hardee Spring for less than a quarter of that price.

DeSantis, Florida Cabinet approve $2.54 million in Florida Forever land acquisition, Samantha J. Gross, Tampa Bay Times, 26 February 2019,

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet Tuesday voted to spend Continue reading

Hike at Little Shoals 2019-01-19

Approximately 3-mile loop hike through a riverine slope forest, led by Hamilton County Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price. It is a mature hardwood forest with open understory. Small creeks, spring seeps and seepage slopes are common, near the Suwannee River, northeast of White Springs. Hiking on and off trail. We end up back where we started.

This is the rescheduling of the former Hike to Dead River, because the Alapaha River is too high there.

When: 12:00 PM, Saturday, January 19, 2019

Put In: Little Shoals Entrance:
In white springs on US 41, turn onto CR 135 at flashing light across street from S&S food store.
About a mile or two north of White Springs on County Road 135 is the entrance to Little Shoals in the Big Shoals State Park.
It is a wide open entrance and you can see the parking area once you turn into entrance.
(Do not go to the main entrance to Big Shoals, which is 4 miles north of the Little Shoals entrance.)

GPS: 30.342129, -82.734417

Take Out: Little Shoals Entrance

Bring: drinking water, snacks, hiking shoes, warm clothes, and first aid kit. No boat required: this is a hike, on foot. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. $4 park entrance fee per car. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Big Shoals, Map
Map: Little Shoals and Big Shoals by SRWMD, including PDF map.

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Suwannee River Car Camping and Paddle 2019-02-15-17

Join us as we camp two nights and paddle the Upper Suwannee River, between the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Fargo, Georgia, around Griffis Fish Camp, on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

When: 4:00 PM, Friday, February 15, 2019, Camping, Griffis Fish Camp

Put In: Gather 8AM, launch 9AM, Saturday, February 16, 2019, Griffis Fish Camp to Fargo Boat Ramp
Gather 8AM, launch 9AM, Sunday, February 17, 2019, Suwannee River Sill to Griffis Camp

GPS: for Griffis Fish Camp: 30.782505, -82.4436

Take Out: Friday camping,
Saturday take out at Fargo,
Sunday take out at Griffis Camp.

Bring: a tow rope and the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) per day for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Fargo, Griffis, Sill, Maps

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Okefenokee Campout and Paddle, Suwannee River, Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA, 2018-12-07-09

Camp two nights and paddle in the Okefenokee Swamp. We will camp Friday and Saturday at Stephen C. Foster State Park near Fargo, Ga. This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp.

When: Friday through Sunday, December 7-9, 2018
9AM, Saturday, December 8, start paddling

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA

GPS: 30.827659, -82.361819

Take Out: Stephen C. Foster State Park

Camping: Make your camp site reservation through Reserve America. Outing leader Shirley Kokidko has site #56. Let’s try to stay close together so we can share a camp fire and group meal Saturday evening. If you want to share a site and split the cost, post it in the comments (meetup, facebook, or blog) so others will see it. If you don’t want to camp, we want you to come out and join us for this paddle.

Paddling: Saturday morning we will meet at the marina at 9 a.m. to shuttle vehicles to the take out at the Sill. We will paddle from Billy’s Lake through the Narrows to the Sill. The current can be swift so you must be able to maneuver you boat around trees in a swift narrow stream. You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. The park rents canoes, kayaks and bicycles. There will be an optional paddle Sunday morning.

Bring: You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. Also boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. And trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

After dark: The park will have a telescope for star gazing Friday night, this is one of the darkest places in the Southeast due to a lack of light pollution in the Okefenokee Swamp. The park also offers a boat tour after dark on Saturday. Telephone reception is mostly non-existent in this remote location so be prepared to put the electronics away and plug into nature.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Gretchen photographing Bret and Phil on the dock
Okefenokee Swamp, 2016-12-10

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A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June. Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times, often in June.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading

Film Festival and Wild & Scenic Rivers

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival WWALS is holding 7PM Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Mathis Auditorium in Valdosta, GA is about:

Celebrating fifty years of Wild and Scenic River designations by Congress, this film festival showcases frontline issues and activism with stunning cinematography. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that individuals propel the groundswell of the environmental movement. Collectively, we CAN make a difference!

There aren’t any Wild & Scenic rivers in the Suwannee River Basin, although maybe after seeing this film festival, people will be motivated to fix that.

We have river gems unknown even to most of the people who live here: the Alapaha, the Little, the Withlacoochee, and the Suwannee River.

Alapaha River

Some Atlantans paddled the Alapaha River Water Trail last month, and confirmed its A+ rating for scenery. Even portaging around a deadfall didn’t dampen their spirits.

Consensus: we love the Alapaha!

First Camp: a beach on a point, Pictures
Photo: Robert Marshall of First Camp: a beach on a point

Little River

When retired outfitter Continue reading

Overnight Camping: Suwannee Springs to Suwannee River State Park 2018-06-02

Update 2018-04-17: Online pre-registration for event fee (free to WWALS members) and shuttle fee. Space is limited. Register soon.

Beautiful two-day paddle trip with overnight camping at Holton Creek.

When: 9 AM, Saturday, June 2, 2018

Put In: Suwannee Springs, 3243 91st Dr, Live Oak, FL 32060

GPS: 30.39417, -82.93383

Take Out: Suwannee River State Park, 3631 201st Path, Live Oak, FL 32060

Bring: camping gear in addition to the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 a day ($20) to non-members, plus campsite fees and park entry fees.

All attendees must pre-pay a $10 shuttle fee. You can register here:

Overnight Outing

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Green Suwannee Springs outflow,
Photo: Continue reading

White Springs to Woods Ferry, Suwannee River 2018-05-12

Join us for a leisurely scenic paddle on the dark oak-stained waters of the historic Suwannee Riverpast the White Sulfur Springs Bath House, Stephen Foster Cultural Center, and under Interstate 75, on to Woods Ferry Launch.

When: 9 AM, Saturday, May 12, 2018

Put In: White Springs Wayside Park

GPS: 30.32576, -82.73872

Take Out: Woods Ferry Tract Launch

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Cost: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) to non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

US 41 Suwannee River Bridge
Photo: Beth Gammie on Southwings flight for WWALS 2016-11-23 of US 41 Bridge, Suwannee River, White Springs, Florida.

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It’s a Go for this weekend’s outings 2018-02-10-11

Update 2018-02-10: And it’s a go for Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee Sunday morning!

Definitely for today’s Five Holes Cleanup at the Suwannee River, and probably for tomorrow’s Hagan Bridge Withlacoochee River paddle (stay tuned for final word on that one).

5 Holes Clean Up at the Suwannee River
Outings Chair Phil Hubbard says: “We are a GO for the clean up at 5 Holes for this afternoon at 3 PM.”
Five Holes is also known as Seven Sisters Spring; see also Pictures by Alan Cressler from 2008.

Movie: Its cold! in Five Holes (23M)
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for WWALS at Five Holes, Suwannee River, 2015-08-15.

Withlacoochee River Paddle from Hagan Bridge to Franklinville Road
Phil says: “Like wise, as of the 8 AM forecast we should be a GO for the paddle outing tomorrow with a 25% chance that of now appears to be decreasing during the midday and increasing after sunset. However we shall revisit this one again this afternoon before making a final decision.”
More good news: Continue reading