Suwannee River

I’m taking some folks down the suwannee river this weekend. What is the water level like below White Springs, FL and to Suwannee River State Park? I’m thinking about paddling a couple of sections below White Springs (putting in at the Stephen Foster State Folk Center in White Springs).

We’ll be car camping so we won’t have a lot gear weighing our boats down. The current water level is 51.6. Is this an acceptable level to paddle? Will there be a lot of scrappy shoals to contend with?

Thanks for any advice.


Here’s a Link

This gives you the water level at White Springs. It is currently at 51.6. This is considdered very low.

Suwannee River
Here is another site, 1/2 way down the page you will find info you are looking for.

yep lots of shoals
but there IS water in the river at least where we passed over it today on I 75. Looked to be about ten feet wide.

Please post…
your results after the paddle. It would be very useful.



Did that strech a few weeks ago, about the same level as now. There are areas you could drag bottom on some shoals. I believe you’ll be ok, just choose your path carefully when you see the ripples.

Were the shoals rocky?
A few folks in my party are paddling more delicate boats. One is paddling a wooden sea kayak and some others will be in kevlar.

Sandy, shallow shoals aren’t too bad, but rocky shoals could damage a fragile boat.



All of the shoals and much of the bottom of the Suwannee are solid limestone, particularly in the section you’ll be on. Canoe and Kayak damage could definitely occur.

that’s good info to know. Do these shoals require a lot of manuvering? Would a shorter boat be better than a longer boat? I have my choice of a 12.5 boat and a 16.6 boat…both are plastic? Others in my party have asked the same question.

The shoals are pretty straight forward, easy to manuever, I’ve used a 15’9" Hemlock Peregrine solo and an old 17’ aluminum tandem. You can see them coming, just slow down and pick the best shoot. The rough part is usually no longer than 30 - 50 feet, and you usually don’t change course once you’ve committed to a shoot. Look for the traditional V formed by the water running through two high spots. Just hope there’s enough water, usually the shoot is pretty obvious.

Thanks for all the info
My Necky Elaho is pretty manuverable for a long boat. I talked with a friend of mine who paddled it in a wooden sea yak at lower water levels and he thinks we should be fine at 51.6. Plus, we should be getting some rain between now and then and maybe the river will come up a bit more.

Thanks for the info. I’ll post a trip report with photos when I get back.