Well this weekend was a fantastic kayak camping trip on the Suwannee river. Suwannee means 'echo river' and was named by the Timucua Indians, who controlled most of north Florida at the time the Spanish arrived.
We arrived down Friday evening to the campsite and got set up and settled in. It was a warm evening, still about 70 degrees and I was a bit concerned it would stay warm all weekend as I hate camping in Florida heat... the humidity makes for a miserable time. However, that concern was short lived as a torrential downpour started up for the whole night but with the tarps up we were good.
The next morning was beautiful.. it was about 40 degrees.... perfect! I put in at a small sandy beach at a turn on the river and headed west with the current... which was stronger than I thought it would be.
One side of the river is sheer 30 foot bleached limestone, pocked completely with holes eroded over millennia. The other side of the river is brilliant white sugar sand that is so white it was sometimes hard to look at.
The Suwannee itself is a really dark ruby red and when you are in the shallower water the red is so strong against the white sand.
Surprisingly there was not a lot of wildlife on the river. I spent 3 hours on Saturday morning without seeing a single bird or mammal.
With 3 hours on Sunday going east, I seen a red shouldered hawk fighting a squirrel and then an American coot but all that aside it was the scenery that blew me away.
There are however 8 foot 200 lb Gulf Sturgeon that jump out of the river and seriously lacerate and injure people. They have warning signs posted on the shores. (I find it amazing to imagine something bigger than the biggest person I know launching out of the river at me, that's gotta be scary)
Saturday I didn't see a single soul on the river and it was a beautiful eerie feeling, Sunday I ran into a troop of scouts from St Augustine.
This river is a kayak camping trip everyone should do... it is one of the most beautiful paddles I've done and to see it in fall as the leaves turn was magical.
I hope you enjoy the pics and are inspired enough to load up your kayak and head to the river.
Till next time, sl, dave.
All pics from this awesome trip are posted here:
Suwannee Canoe Outpost:
Restrooms, Canoe rental, showers, elec hook-ups
Necky Manitou 14.
$5 Dollars entry fee.
Google Map of area:
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)