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Suwannee River (Lower) Canoe Trail

The Suwannee River (Lower) Canoe Trail is officially designated as part of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails. This section of the Suwannee River begins at Suwannee River State Park and continues downstream for 51.7 miles. Rising out of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, the Suwannee is fed by many springs. In Troy Springs, you can see the remains of a Confederate river runner, the Madison, resting on the bottom. Most of the time, the lower Suwannee River is wide, tranquil and gentle, and the scenery is spectacular. The lower section of the Suwannee has more motorboats than the upper section, but wildlife us still more common than people. Kingfish sit motionless on limbs before diving into the water for fish. Swallowtail kite and osprey soar overhead. The presence of beaver is evident by the teeth marks on trees along the bank. Opossum, raccoon, and alligator are common residents. Arrowheads and pottery shards indicate the presence of early humans. Another characteristic of the Suwannee is the limestone bluffs that rise from the river’s edge. The craggy formations cut by the river are evidence of the ancient shoreline. Ocean fossils found here indicate that the ocean covered much of present day Florida. Allow 7 –14 days to canoe the entire length of the Suwannee. However, there are a number of access points along the trail to accommodate your schedule. Wide sandbars offer places to camp.

Major Activities: paddling
Counties: Suwannee, Lafayette, Madison
Mileage: 51.7
Skill Level: Beginner
Difficult: Easy
Usual Current: Average (2-3 mph)

Notes and Precautions
During low water, some shoals may become exposed along the trail. Approach them with caution and portage if necessary. Allow 7 – 14 days to paddle the entire length of the Suwannee River. It is illegal to leave cars on bridge at I-10. There is heavy motorboat traffic near Branford.

Access

Suwannee River State Park – Off US 90, west of Live Oak.

US 90 Bridge – At Ellaville. (0.5 mile)
3. CR 250 Bridge – At Dowling Park. (14.2 miles)

SR 51 Bridge – Two miles north of Mayo. (14.6 miles)

US 27 Bridge – At Branford. (22.4 miles)

There may be access points (both public and private) in addition to those listed here. Please remember that some sites require a fee for launching and/or parking.