Big Shoals and Little Shoals, Suwannee River, 2023-05-20

Update 2023-05-30: Pictures: Portage Big Shoals, Paddle Little Shoals, Suwannee River 2023-05-20.

Join us as we portage around Big Shoals, the biggest rapids in Florida, and paddle through Little Shoals on the Suwannee River.

Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County will lead us past the lally columns of Old Godwin Bridge. Two thirds of a mile later, we will take out just before Big Shoals, and portage a quarter mile through the woods. Paddlers in good health should be able to do this. We do not recommend it for small children. We will be portaging: if you want to paddle through Big Shoals, do it on a different trip.

Then we’ll paddle past several creeks, including Bell Springs Run and Falling Creek.

About 3.5 miles downstream from Big Shoals, we’ll paddle through Little Shoals, which can get up to Class II rapids. Plus there’s another little rapid just before the railroad bridge and the US 41 bridge.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 2 PM, Saturday, May 20, 2023

Put In: Big Shoals Tract Launch, From White Springs, travel north on CR 135 to SE 94 Street (Godwin Bridge Road); turn right and follow road to Big Shoals, in Hamilton County, Florida.

GPS: 30.353167, -82.687333

[Big Shoals pictures from 2021-05-19]
Big Shoals pictures from 2021-05-19

Take Out: Suwannee River Wayside Park

Bring: Bring kayak wheels or be prepared to drag your boat over sand and pinestraw. Attach a rope to each end of your boat. 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.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:

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

Event: facebook, meetup

Duration: 4 hours

Paddle: 6 miles, 3 hours.

Shuttle: 12 Miles, 30 min.
This outing includes the traditional WWALS shuttle. Everybody takes their boats to the put-in, most people drive to the take-out, and the drivers pile into one or two vehicles and go back to the put-in.

Host: Dennis J. Price

Contact: Dennis J. Price

Contact: Dennis Price

Update 2022-09-12: Right now the White Springs USGS Gauge reads 51.88 feet NAVD88.

White Springs Gauge,

That’s within the 51 to 59 foot ideal paddling levels.

[River Level Recommendations, 10:23:35, 30.3538805, -82.6868546]
River Level Recommendations, 10:23:35, 30.3538805, -82.6868546

When we did this stretch on May 19, 2021, the gauge read 52.5′ and falling.

On a scouting trip 2019-04-10, it was about 53.6′ and falling.

Backup: in case of high or low water is: Cancel

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS outings web page, WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!