The initial forecast for our 5-day kayak trip on the Suwannee River was for rain pretty much the whole time. We knew that at some point we were going to get wet; it was just a matter of when and how much.
But the first day was fabulous! A mix of sun and cloud, leisurely paddling on a winding river so calm it was difficult to tell where reality ended and reflection in the water began. Two alligators, two beavers, and so many turtles out sunning themselves on logs that we lost count and Andrew stopped taking pictures of every single one. The turtles must have a good life here as some of them were quite big!
|Reality and Reflection|
|Big turtle enjoying the sunshine|
We stayed the night at Woods Ferry, one of several "river camps" along the Suwannee which have raised camping platforms with a roof and mesh screen around them to keep out the rain and bugs, and full washroom facilities including showers.
|Dock at Woods Ferry River Camp|
|Typical river camp shelter|
|Watching the rain pour down! Do we go or do we stay?|
|The river rising! The day before (at Suwannee Music Park) our kayaks were 3-4 feet from the water's edge.|
|At Holton Creek River Camp the water again came up dramatically over night and left a lot of debris in the water and a big tree log caught on the dock.|
The riverbank is a reasonable mix of public and private land. The houses mostly blend in fairly well with the surroundings and in summer the coverage of tree leaves would make many of them almost invisible from the river. Camping is permitted anywhere on the public lands; there are also some state parks in addition to the river camps.
We stayed the nights at Woods Ferry River Camp, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Holton Creek River Camp, and a random spot along the river. We could have stayed at Suwannee State Park but wanted to get a bit further as we were getting picked up at Dowling Park early on the final afternoon. Dowling Park also has a river camp where we were able to shower and get cleaned up before pick up.
We organized the trip through American Canoe Adventures based in White Springs. In addition to kayaks, they made the river camp bookings for us and provided all our transportation needs in & around Lake City.
We would highly recommend this trip! It's definitely a beginner's level outing -- perfect for a relaxing trip and easily organized. And you could keep going . . . there's about another 100 miles of the river but it continues to get wider, deeper and busier (i.e. motor boat traffic) the closer you get to the ocean. It's a great winter get-away-from-the-snow-and-cold-in-Saskatchewan trip!
|Andrew on the Suwannee|