Tag Archives: Suwannee River Wilderness Trail

Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10

Swim in the itch head spring. Then join us for a leisurely paddle 4 miles downstream in crystal clear waters with the possibility of seeing manatee, several types of gar, and bird species. The launching spot has been recently upgraded to accommodate new ADA standards.

There is a possibility of a further paddle down to the Ichetucknee Confluence.

When: Gather 9:00AM (swim), launch 11 AM, end 2 PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024

Put In: Ichetucknee Headspring and Ichetucknee North Launch, Ichetucknee S.P. North Entrance, 8294 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038, Columbia County.

GPS: 29.98292, -82.76053

[Swimmers 2020-01-04 and WWALS Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10]
Swimmers 2020-01-04 and WWALS Ichetucknee Polar Plunge and Paddle 2024-02-10

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Cancelled: Iche Nippy Dip Day Swim and Paddle, Ichetucknee River, Ichetucknee Headspring, 2024-01-06

Due to predicted inclement weather, the State Park and its Friends organization have cancelled Iche Nippy Dip Day.

So WWALS has cancelled this dip and paddle.

[Dippers, Put-in, Paddlers, 2020-01-04]
Dippers, Put-in, Paddlers, 2020-01-04

We will work on scheduling a future similar event.

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS outings web page, https://wwals.net/outings/. 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!
https://wwals.net/donations

Pictures: Arriving Floyd’s Island, Okefenokee Swamp 2023-11-04

Update 2023-11-19: Floyds Island 1838, Hebard Cabin 1925, Okefenokee Swamp 1925-01-01.

Alligators and pitcher plants on the Suwannee River to Floyds Island, logging railroad, Indian mound, and tents there, and somebody fell over in a chair.

[IG: Collage, SCFSP to Floyds Island, Okefenokee Swamp, 2023-11-04]
IG: Collage, SCFSP to Floyds Island, Okefenokee Swamp, 2023-11-04

People came to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from as far away as Miami, Alabama, South Carolina, Savannah, and Atlanta, as well as from Williston, White Springs, Pearson, Douglas, and Hahira.

Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for organizing, and for Randy Madison for leading when Shirley could not go. Continue reading

Pictures: Suwannee River Wilderness Trail at Lafayette County Florida State Parks Open House Public Meeting 2023-10-26

Learned a few things in this last of the FDEP series of county meetings about state parks, (almost) the only one that also included the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and its River Camps.

[Posters and personnel]
Posters and personnel

We also talked about the previous day’s meeting, in Hamilton County, which included Big Shoals State Park. Moving the portage around Big Shoals from Columbia County to Hamilton County, on the right bank of the Suwannee River, is now merely a discussion topic, not a plan. They do want to do something to improve the exit from the portage back into the river. The jagged and slippery limestone rocks are a safety issue. One possibility is steps like at the Big Shoals Tract Launch. They didn’t like my suggestion of just put in some posts with a chain for people to use to get down to the river. But steps would be great. Continue reading

Iche Nippy Dip Day Swim and Paddle, Ichetucknee River, Ichetucknee Headspring, 2024-01-06

Update 2023-01-03: Cancelled due to predicted inclement weather.

Swim in the Itch head spring, during Iche Nippy Dip Day, the annual first-Saturday-in-January-that-is-not-New-Year-Day dip.

Then join us for a leisurely paddle 4 miles downstream in crystal clear waters with the possibility of seeing manatee, several types of gar and bird species. The launching spot has been recently upgraded to accommodate new ADA standards.

Iche Nippy Dip Day was founded by Earl Kinard (February 20, 1930 – March 27, 2022). He was there when WWALS dipped and paddled on January 4, 2020.

When: Gather 9:00AM (swim), launch 11 AM, end 2 PM, Saturday, January 6, 2024

Put In: Ichetucknee Headspring and Ichetucknee North Launch, Ichetucknee S.P. North Entrance, 8294 SW Elim Church Rd, Fort White, FL 32038, Columbia County.

GPS: 29.98292, -82.76053

[Dippers, Put-in, Paddlers, 2020-01-04]
Dippers, Put-in, Paddlers, 2020-01-04

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Lafayette County Florida State Parks Open House Public Meeting 2023-10-26

FDEP has been running a series of county meetings about state parks, but this is the only one that also includes the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and its River Camps. Let’s go see what they are proposing.

You can also send written comments through November 10, 2023, to FlStateParkPlanning@dep.state.fl.us.

[Map and flyer]
Map and flyer

For Lafayette Blue Springs, according to its Executive Summary, the idea is to turn the service road into Allen Mill Pond Trail, to upgrade electricity and buildings in the support area, to manage erosion and replace the boardwalk in the headspring access area, and to renovate the campground elecricity and remove the outhouse and the old Metzger house, plus some proposed additions to its boundary.

For the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, according to its Executive Summary, the intention is to compose a management guidance document for all river camps, replace all wooden staircases, and upgrade the portable restroom and shower buildings, plus consider a designated Fanning Springs River Camp.

For Troy Spring State Park, according to its Executive Summary, multiple upgrades are planned for the Springhead Day Use Area, to the riverfront, and at the south end to convert the stables into a park support structure. There are also some possible acquisitions.

Here is the agenda: Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia: State Parks Closed, Georgia and Florida 2023-09-02

Stir crazy from staying in due to Hurricane Idalia and want to go to a state park?

Many of them are open, but some remain closed, in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia and Florida.

Or come to the WWALS Banks Lake Morning Paddle 2023-09-04.

[Georgia and Florida State Parks Closed 2023-09-02]
Georgia and Florida State Parks Closed 2023-09-02

According to Georgia State Parks Weather Alerts – Hurricane Idalia:

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Okefenokee Floyd’s Island Campout, Suwannee River, 2023-11-04-5

Update 2023-11-18: Pictures: Arriving Floyd’s Island, Okefenokee Swamp 2023-11-04.

Update 2023-09-06: The park limits reservations on Floyd’s Island to 20 people. To reserve your spot, RSVP on the meetup:
https://www.meetup.com/withlacoochee-alapaha-suwannee-rivers-wwals-outings/events/295388408/
You will also need to pay for your 20th of the reservation fee through the eventbrite ticket you will find on the meetup.

Update 2023-09-05: Floyd’s Island is reserved for WWALS for this outing.

Update 2023-08-14: SCFSP campsite is closed for renovations from November 1, 2023, until January 2025. But you can still pre-camp at Griffis Fish Camp if you reserve early.

Join us (pending a reservation for the island) to paddle 9 miles upstream in the Okefenokee for primitive camping on Floyd’s Island, which is the most remote place in Georgia: the farthest from any road, with very dark sky.

This primitive campout is a remote wilderness experience in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, appropriate for any level but be sure that you’re comfortable paddling your loaded kayak 9 miles against a current to get to the island. There is only one rest stop on the trail, Minnie’s Lake Platform at the 4 mile mark.

Coming back on Sunday the current will be with us all the way, making for an easy trip out on the most scenic trail in the swamp with plenty of wildlife viewing.

There is a portapotty at Minnie’s Lake and another at Floyd’s Island. No potable water, bring everything you need for two days. There is plenty of room for any type tent or hammock. The historic Floyd’s Cabin is also open.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, November 4, 2023, overnight and return Sunday

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp (SCFSP), 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel to Stephen C. Foster State Park in Charlton County.
Plan accordingly to arrive on time, phone service is mostly nonexistent once you leave Fargo, Ga. and drive the 17 miles to Stephen C. Foster State Park.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

[Ready at SCFSP John S. Quarterman 2022-11-19, at Floyd's Island --Gretchen Quarterman 2022-11-06]
Ready at SCFSP John S. Quarterman 2022-11-19, at Floyd’s Island –Gretchen Quarterman 2022-11-06

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

We saw the lally columns of Old Godwin Bridge, Bell Springs Run, Robinson Creek, Falling Creek, and we portaged around Big Shoals and paddled through Little Shoals, on the Suwannee River to White Springs Wayside Park Ramp, in a WWALS outing, Saturday, May 20, 2023.

[Launch, Big Shoals, Little Shoals, Falling Creek, Wayside Park, Suwannee River 2023-05-20]
Launch, Big Shoals, Little Shoals, Falling Creek, Wayside Park, Suwannee River 2023-05-20

Everyone had a good time in the balmy, breezy, partly-cloudy weather. The White Springs Gauge read 51.5 feet, which was perfect.

Plus a few small alligators.

Thanks to Dennis James Price for leading this one, and for pointing out the excellent lunch spot just below Big Shoals. Continue reading

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

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