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Suwanee River: Skip the song; but go for kayaking & camping

Steep banks on Suwanee at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.

Steep banks on Suwanee at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.

By Bonnie Gross, FloridaRambler.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, May 26, 2015 – If you think all there is to the Suwanee River is an old song with problematic lyrics, you’re missing out on one of Florida’s greatest kayaking, canoeing and camping rivers.

While it’s a long drive from some parts of Florida, if you can spare a couple of days, the Suwanee will reward you with tranquility, beauty and a paddling trip that is different from rivers and streams elsewhere in Florida.

It’s a long river: It snakes 270 miles south and west from the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia into the Gulf of Mexico. There are so many great segments to kayak or canoe, you could keep returning and not repeat yourself.

My visit to the Suwanee – my first – was based in White Springs, near the northern end. My husband and I rented a canoe from American Canoe Adventures, which also shuttled us back to our car.

The outfitter offered eight trips, ranging from three miles ($35 for a canoe or double kayak) to nine miles ($50) and can customize longer and overnight trips, including guides, equipment and food delivery to campsites.

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