In the city once called Alligator, first home of the University of Florida and named for a great chief of the Seminoles, Alligator Lake has long been a gathering place. Established as a park in 2002, hiking and bicycling are now its primary focus.
A new surprise along the Florida Trail in White Springs: a nudist resort. For years, the Suwannee Valley Campground has been one of several welcoming resupply-and-rest stops for long distance hikers along the Suwannee River, but that’s about to change. In May 2012, the new owners of the campground will be reopening it as a […]
When you think about Florida’s rivers and streams, the image of raging, foaming water never springs to mind. Yet up on the Suwannee River, just a few miles outside the historic town of White Springs, the Suwannee hides a secret that canoeists and kayakers kept to themselves for many years—Big Shoals. Inside Big Shoals State […]
See one of Florida’s fabulous but little known waterfalls on a short walk just north of Lake City. Take a quick detour from I-10 to see a spectacular root-beer-colored cascade, which plummets more than 10 feet over a deep lip of limestone and flows away over limestone boulders at the bottom of a ravine. Falling […]
While I mourn the loss of the Suwannee River Diner in White Springs, I’m pleased to report that the Stormant family is still cooking up the same great country vittles we know and love down at Fat Belly’s, their restaurant on the south side of White Springs near the blinker to Big Shoals. Barbecue is […]
With Florida’s only Class III whitewater and the beauty of a Florida waterfall along a stretch of trail that is rugged but extremely scenic, this 2.8 mile section of the Florida Trail is a real winner. Although the full segment is still “thru hiker only” from its eastern access point along the back roads near […]
Rapids between cypress knees? That’s what you’ll see when “surf’s up” along the Suwannee after a good rain. This region has spectacular geology thanks to its karst topography. Karst occurs when water and mild acid (from tree leaves and other natural detritus) seeps into porous rock, and Florida has a plentiful supply of just that—limestone. […]
Starting at the canoe launch opposite the Big Shoals Trail, the Long Branch Trail heads upriver to follow a mellow Suwannee River—broad and shaded by overhanging tupelo trees. It’s a relaxed hike through scrubby flatwoods and deeply shaded hardwood forests, where sassafras peeks out from the undergrowth and southern magnolia rustles in the breeze. Although […]