Hello. We are planning on heading down to Florida with a canoe this Christmas. I sea kayaked in the Everglades last winter and had a great time. Heading down from Toronto, Ontario Canada this year and looking for a bit shorter drive. We have checked a bit into the Suwannee River area. We are looking for to do a bit of a wilderness canoe camping trip, 4 days or so. Please, any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
Just returned Friday from 3 night trip on upper portion of river. It was great! Very beautiful. Went from Fargo, GA (hwy 441), to White Springs FL (hwy 41). I used a solo canoe, and did one short portage, if river had been up a couple feet more I could have probably ran “Big Shoals”. Watched a kayak run the shoals, he made it ok but with some rough knocks to his boat. Good paddlers could probably do this strech with 2 nights, but I was in no hurry. Depending on your speed you could add distance easily. Used Canoe Outpost Outfitters to shuttle my vehicle.
Ditto: Do the Upper Suwannee from Fargo
We did the Suwannee from Fargo, GA to the Gulf of Mexico. The upper portion is a lot more narrow and remote. Excellent scenery and some areas of faster water going over shoals. Don't try to run Big Shoals...
Check out this website (look under "Past Trips")and read the bottom of the Suwannee trip report for contacts for info and shuttle if needed.
Depending on your paddling
the 109 miles of the Apalachicola River is a great trip. I just paddled it for the 2nd time last month and have good maps. Good 4 day trip if you like to paddle, great 5 day trip if you want to have fun.
There is no wrong answer…
to your question. It depends on what you want to do, and contact local groups for current information.
The Gulf is very lovely, the rivers are awesome, and each has it’s own character.
We’ve paddled several rivers in the panhandle, and I haven’t found a bad one yet.
However, the Blackwater State forest has more than it’s share of helicopters during the weekdays.
You may find limestone ledges or trees to add a few scrapes to your boat, but it’s well worth while.
The Panama City Beach
BTW, the PCB area is known as “Ontario of the South” in the winter. Lots of Canadians spend the season down there, eh?
North Fla. Paddling
I did a 5 day 80 mile trip last January from Suwannee River Outpost to Branford. The upper part of that section was the best and has the wilderness character of the Fargo section. The section from I-10 to Branford gets wider and a bit of development but is still better than a day at work. The springs were absolutely magnificant. Suwannee River Outpost provide an on-time shuttle from Branford back to the Outpost.
Santa Fe to Suwanee
I did a 5 day trip from High Springs to Hart Springs. Lot’s of pretty springs and plenty of primitive and private/county campgrounds. Check with Canoe Outpost in high Springs. You also might want to google the Seminole canoe and kayak club–they have weekly paddles.