Suwannee River: Fargo to White Springs

-- Last Updated: Sep-01-06 8:53 AM EST --

Looking forward to paddling the Suwannee River from Fargo, GA to White Springs, Fl in mid October. Current water level are low around 50ft, and if we don't have a lot of rain during September, it is not going to be much better.

Has anyone paddle the mentioned section of the Suwannee? and according to your opinion which is the minimum water level (in feet) needed to be "Rock-free" during the paddle?


Last year, paddling the Allegheny River during low water levels was very painful and a lot of work afterwards. I don't want to repeat the experience.

Keep me posted
I’m interested in going with you if you’d like company. I’ve been wanting to check out Big Shoals anyway. I think it’s (water level) fine now contrary to what the outfitters says. Any water is good water to me. But should be higher in October

They also told me the Withlachoochee (North) is to low. I hit bottom about three times, when I pulled the canoe up on the bank for a break and to let the kids swim.


Valdosta, GA

I thought you meant to start in Fargo, North Dakota. Now that would be an impressive trip. I think it would be easy, except for that pesky little portage over the Appalachians, or the paddle around Florida. Might have to start planning now.

low water
I paddle that section several times a year. Mostly in the winter. Definately pretty rocky and bumpy right now and will be until the guage at White Springs is up in the mid 50’s. Not saying its not still a great trip at lower water levels. Just that you will be bumping and scraping.

Here is big shoals a couple of months ago.

You broke my heart…
the water is pretty low indeed.

Thanks a lot for the pics. I was looking for some info. besides the outfitters. You know unbiased information.

Currently, I know the water level is much lower than in April, so a Big Shoals it must be pretty dry.

Anyway, besides Big Shoals, is the rest of the river dry in the same way? or is it shallow free?

Thanks a lot for your info,

Fargo (1996)
It’s funny. Talking about Fargo reminds me about the movie from the 96’ by the brothers Coen, what a bloody movie… :smiley:

Recently paddle
On the Withlachoochee from Madison Blue Springs to Suwannee State Park and the water level was great. It could stand a few more inches but we (I) didn’t hit bottom though we had a few that chose the wrong route a few times and had to drag a foot or two, nothing major. My impression of the Suwannee River where we turned into it, the water level was great, but it may be lower further up. I really don’t mind it low as long as there is a deep enough section to float thru, so my idea of good water level will differ from others for sure.

low water
I think you’d be ok above Big Shoals as far as water levels but even back in April it was pretty bumpy between big shoals and White Springs. Fun run though. Lots and lots of little shoals to play in. I may be going up there this Friday to do a day trip. If I do, I’ll post some better info.

More than fear to rocks
I don’t mind to portage, but my boat does not get alone very well with limestone and rocks. I might hit bottom once, and I might do one hole :frowning:

There is a race in October that I have wanted to do for several years now, the Suwannee River Challenge (Fargo to White Springs), so since May, I have been planning to scout the river.

Because water levels kept falling, I didn’t do it…

I truly appreciate yours and everyone inputs!

Thanks a ton…
Hopping for a lot of rain this coming September…

We were thinking of going
Baldpaddler & I were also thinking of doing the Suwanee River Challenge this year since it no longer conflicts with the Lumber River Challenge in NC. Every time we run into Ray (the Suwanee race organizer) at the 90-miler or Chattahoochie he’s always twisting our arm about “comin’on down” and doin’ the Suwanee. Doesn’t sound like 50 miles of suck water & gravel makes for a fun outing. Let’s pray for rain.

Was there yesterday,

– Last Updated: Sep-05-06 10:54 AM EST –

River too low. Little Shoals had to be portaged,, stream was only 5 feet wide, with a ledge drop off surrounded by sharp limestone. Big Shoals, you could almost walk across. Start at Fargo was very low and boat would scrape bottom continously. Finish at White Springs had exposed hazards under the railroad tressel (rotting poles),, it was not pleasant. For it to be fun and have some resemblance of a boat left at the finish, water level would have to be over 54'(White Springs Gauge),, it was 50'yesterday and day before when I was there.

P.S, Iceman,, did Weeki Wachee,, that was great!

YOur trip on the Withlikoochee
About how long does it take to make the trip you took? We are planning on the same run in mid October. Also looking at the upper Suwannee if there isa enough water.

Charles. The Withlacoochee trip
we did was from Madison Blue Springs to Suwannee State Park. It’s about 12 miles, we were on the water at 0830 and had someone else take our vehicles to the state park for us. We were loaded up and leaving at 1630 (4:30P.M.). Time wise it sounds long but we had about 3+ hours of play time for the kids at various springs and rope swings along the way. Great time. The last (only) big shoal (Melvin Shoals) you can run it straight in the middle but vere right, there are 2 large rocks to watch for but you can thread thru them with no problem. If you go in Oct let me know, I may be interested in joining you.


Reminisces of Warren,
Hey Hex,

Your river report looks “soooo much” like last year Warren… still crying :frowning: :frowning:

Thanks for sharing with us.

It is a shame I have not done the Weeki Wachee yet. In pics, it looks like an amazing place to place.

Suwanee River
We a re going for sure unless something unforseen happens. We are staying the night at Suwannee River State Park in a cabin on October 19 and 20. Going on the Withlicoochee on Friday and Upper Suwannee on Saturday. You are welcome to come too. We could use some local knowledge. I want to show my brother some springs adn I could go nuts over a rope swing. Reliving my youth and all that. Hope to bring one of my college age kids, but may not work out.

Weeki Wachee
Is an excellent run, I highly recommend it. It has some uninhabitated areas and the water is beautiful.

JT in Central FL

That is where my QCC with me in it…

– Last Updated: Sep-08-06 8:02 AM EST –

got lifted into the air on the back of a manatee last year.

On the lower portion we sat and watched for at least fifteen minutes a match between a eagle and a Osprey fighting over a floating dead fish.
Everytime the eagle would swoop down to grab it, at the last second the Osprey would dive down and attack it and the eagle had to divert itself
It was quite the aerial display.