Founded in 1878, Live Oak is centered around a historic downtown district with a Deep South feel. Adding to that rural character are farms and country roads surrounding the town, which is circled by the Suwannee River to the north, south, and west, about a 20 minute drive in each direction. Thanks to its quiet back roads, Live Oak is the annual destination for the Florida Bicycle Safari.
Trails and Parks in Lake City
- Big Oak Trail - The Big Oak Trail is one of the most scenic hikes in North Florida. Much of the hiking parallels the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers, which meet here at a confluence.
- Disappearing Creek at Camp Branch - On the Disappearing Creek Loop off the Florida Trail along the Suwannee River, watch Camp Branch burble through rapids and cascade into a giant sinkhole
- Florida Trail, CR25A to Stephen Foster - This roly-poly section of the Florida Trail is pretty rugged despite its short distance, since it involves a lot of scrambling in and out of ravines and eroded bluffs created when the Suwannee River seasonally overflows its banks.
- Florida Trail, Suwannee - 78.9 miles. For more than sixty miles, the Florida Trail follows the floodplain of the fabled Suwannee River, clinging to its bluffs and terraces, dropping down to sandy beaches, and scrambling past waterfalls and ravines. It’s a physical challenge and one of the most scenic sections of trail, with both Big Shoals - Florida’s fastest whitewater – and the Big Oak Trail at the confluence with the Withlacoochee River a delight.
- Lafayette Blue Springs State Park - Lafayette Blue Springs was an old swimming hole for folks in Mayo and the rural communities west of Live Oak, a hidden beauty spot along the Suwannee River that is now a state park.
- Madison Blue Spring State Park - A long-time Old Florida swimming hole along SR 6 between the towns of Lee and Jasper, Madison Blue Spring is a sinkhole pouring out a first-magnitude spring into the Withlacoochee River.
- Peacock Springs State Park - Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park is a top international destination for cave divers thanks to its extensively mapped system of underwater tubes: more than six miles of passageways connecting two major springs, six sinkholes, and the Suwannee River.
- Royal Springs - Staring into Royal Springs, it feels like looking into a bottomless pit. Steep and broad, it drops 42 feet into shimmering waters of turquoise and royal blue.
- Springs of the Suwannee River Valley - It's August. It's Florida. Where do you go to cool off? The springs of the Suwannee River Valley. No matter the size, these natural swimming holes are a delight.
- Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park - No Florida State Park is as celebrated as Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. For more than a half-century, it's been home to the Florida Folk Festival, a Memorial Day Weekend treat with over a dozen bands playing on stages simultaneously throughout the expansive green space.
- Suwannee River State Park - Perched on the bluffs at the confluence of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, Suwannee River State Park is one of those don’t-miss Florida outdoors experiences, with two ghost towns, Civil War battlements that once protected a strategic railroad bridge, and the ruins of a former governor's riverfront mansion.
- Suwannee River Wilderness Trail - Along its 266-mile meandering route from the Okeefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico, the Suwannee River is home to countless springs, sandy beaches, and tributaries that drop into the river down steep slopes as waterfalls. The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail lets you explore it all.
- Troy Spring Nature Trail - At Troy Spring State Park, the nature trail is only a half-mile long, but a good introduction to habitats found along the bluffs of the Suwannee River.
- Troy Spring State Park - A first-magnitude spring along the Suwannee River, Troy Spring State Park has the remains of a Civil War steamboat cradled in its rocky waters.