Paddle Florida


Sixth Annual Fall Paddle Florida on the
Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Oct. 12-17, 2013

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park to Branford

Distance: 77 miles
Registration: $275/Adult;
$250/Senior (65+) and College Student
$225/Youth 8-17
Child (7 and under)/free
Meals: $150
Shuttle: Beginning- or end-of-trip shuttle – $25/person $25/boat
Paddle Florida Lite: Four days or less: $100/day (includes meals) + $50 for end-of-trip shuttle for paddler and boat.
Registration Deadline: October 4, 2013
Official Outfitter: Suwannee Canoe Outpost


View Suwannee Music Camp to Branford in a larger map

Day One, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Suwannee Music Park logoParticipants in Paddle Florida will arrive at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park the day before the start for a night of camping and orientation for the adventure to come.
    Paddlers will either drive straight to the starting point and park their vehicles there for the week, or take advantage of the River’s End Shuttle. If you are driving straight to the starting point you will need to find a way to get back to the starting point at the end of the week. A shuttle at the end of the week will be available for those who need to get their boats and gear back to the starting point.
    If you would like to have your car waiting for you when you finish the trip, you may drive to Branford and park your vehicle there (a $50 fee –$25/person, $25/boat– is required for shuttle service). After having your boats loaded onto our truck, you will be shuttled to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park to check in.

At the music camp cabins and golf carts are available on-site; call 386.364.1683 for details and pricing or click on the Suwannee Music Park logo to jump to the Website.

Day 2, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
to Suwannee River State Park


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The first morning of Paddle Florida will have us leaving the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. You will notice the distinctive aspects of the Upper Suwannee; a narrow riverbed and increasingly steeper limestone bluffs. After paddling a distance of 7.5 miles, we will stop for lunch at Holton Creek River Camp, which is part of a series of hubs, cabins and river camps that comprise the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. All lunch stops will offer healthy "snack food," various fruits and drinks (all you care to eat). Everyone should be fortified for the rest of this 21-mile day. We may establish a stagger to avoid bottlenecks at rest stops.

In the afternoon, our intrepid paddlers will arrive at the Suwannee River State Park for overnight camping. One of Florida’s most visited parks, it sits at the confluence of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers. On the way, if you are lucky, you will be treated to springs visible at the bottom of the limestone cliffs, as well as a wide variety of wildlife native to the Upper Suwannee River.

Day 3, Suwannee River State Park to Dowling Park River Camp


View Suwannee River Park to Dowling Park in a larger map


Paddlers should remember that the Suwannee River Valley at this time of year can be cold, at least by Florida standards. Temperatures can range from 60-80 degrees during the day, and 35-55 degrees at night. When we depart the Suwannee River State Park this morning, we will embark on a short day: 14 miles to Dowling River Camp. The fire each night will provide light, heat, ambiance, trash disposal and olfactory delight. Be sure to bring cameras in order to capture and preserve some great moments. And remember to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. Activities will be planned for each night.

Day 4, Dowling Park River Camp
to Lafayette Blue Springs State Park


View Dowling Park to Lafayette Blue Springs in a larger map


Eleven miles farther down river, our overnight stop will again be hosted by the Florida Park Service. We'll once again skip the lunch stop and disembark at Lafayette Blue Springs State Park where lunch snack food will be on hand when paddlers arrive. Dinner this evening, and each evening will be served at 6:00pm. The campfire each night will provide light, heat, ambiance, trash disposal and olfactory delight. Be sure to bring your camera to capture and preserve some great moments. And remember to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. Activities will be planned for each night.

Day 5, Lafayette Blue Springs to Adams Tract River Camp


View Lafayette Blue Springs to Adams Tract RC in a larger map

We will spend the night at the river camp after a 18-mile paddle on day five. Rest stop is at Peacock Slough River Camp. Each of the river camps along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail features 5 screened sleeping platforms with electricity and ceiling fans, restrooms and showers and primitive camping sites for tents. Each sleeping platform accommodates 6-8 people.

On this day you will see the river begin to widen a bit as we make our way down this world-class waterway. Depending on the river level, you may also be treated to a few areas of "fast water" and several springs.

Day 6, Adams Tract River Camp to Ivey Memorial Park


View Adams Tract River Camp to Branford in a larger map

Another short, 13-mile day. On the way we'll take a rest stop at Little River Springs, currently a Suwannee County Park, but soon to be an additional property of the Florida Park Service. This site is popular with cave and cavern divers. The spring is the entrance to a cave system more than 1,200 feet long and 100 feet deep. After visiting this picturesque location, the final five miles will be a breeze. On the way, we will also pass Royal Spring, Troy Springs and Ruth Springs, before we end with a barbeque at the Shrine Club in Branford, Florida.

WHAT HAPPENS HERE STAYS WITH YOU.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME . . . GOING WITH THE FLOW!