“Hike along Suwannee River's riverside bluffs to see Florida's only Class III white water rapids (seasonal).”
— Ryan Spr
A great hike along the historic Suwannee River to Florida's only Class III white water rapids.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
Need to Know
Although the official trail ends within a few paces of the second overlook, a hiker can keep going when the yellow blazes end at a 'T' intersection by turning right. Continue down along the river using a singletrack bicycle trail created by the Suwannee Bicycle Club.
The 1.1-mile trail begins just south of the parking area. Follow the yellow blazes through the laurel oaks passing the old Godwin Bridge piers on your left. Ascending over the river bluff, the calm black waters of the Suwannee River makes itself visible through the oaks and saw palmettos. As the trail weaves south, the muffled sound of the rapids in the distance begins to fill the air.
After about a mile, you can see the flowing water beginning to increase in speed, flowing over submerged rocks and through small chutes. You are then presented with two overlooks with a view of the (seasonal) rapids of the Big Shoals.
Flora & Fauna
Box turtles, gopher tortoise, barred owls, red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, pileated woodpeckers, wild turkeys, white-tail deer, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and timber rattle snakes. Suwannee River is inhabited by Suwannee cooters, Suwannee bass, Gulf sturgeon, and river otters.
History & Background
The area has been occupied by humans for at least 7,000 years.