(386) 454-0611 riverguide2000@yahoo.com

Suwannee River Spring Hop #1

SUWANNEE RIVER SPRING HOP #1:  Charles Spring – Hwy 51    Group size: 1 – 24 paddlers Trip time: 3 – 4 hours Skill level: Great for beginners and experts alike   The meeting place for this trip is on the Suwannee, about 1.5 hours NW of Gainesville.     Description   On this trip, we’ll explore a 9 mile stretch of the Middle Suwannee, starting at one of my favorite spots on the river, Charles Spring and ending about 3.5 hours later at the boat ramp alongside the Hwy 51 Bridge. Along our route, we’ll stop off at Allen Mill Pond spring run and Lafayette Blue Springs. (to avoid confusion, it’s customary to include the county name when referring to any of the State’s many “Blue Springs”).   Most of the middle Suwannee is characterized by a wide, slow flow of tannin-stained water, whose rich, carmel color contrasts beautifully with white sand beaches. In places, the soft, smooth complexion on these dunes is interrupted by outcroppings of rough-hewn limerock. Above the river bank and stretching unseen for miles in all directions, a mixed forests of pine and oak dominate the setting. It’s a higher, drier terrain than we experience on “swampier” rivers such as Ocklawaha and Withlacoochee.   Of course, the main attraction to this part of the river are the springs. On warm days like we’ve been enjoying lately, the clear, 72 degree water of Charles and Blue Springs are hard to resist. But, you won’t have to wait for the springs if you want to swim. Current water levels are low enough to make plenty of good, shallow areas to pull over and wade in.     History   Our launch site...

Olustee Creek

Olustee Creek Canoe and Kayak Trip Group size: 1 – 24 people Trip time:  4 hours Skill level: This is an easy, out-and-back paddle on quiet waters, suitable for all skill levels. Cost: $$50 per person. With your own boat it’s $35. Dates: Check the calendar for dates. If the date you want to paddle is open on the calendar, let us know (at least 2 weeks in advance) and we’ll schedule it. E-mail us at riverguide2000@yahoo.com or call (386) 454-0611 Description Explore the upper reaches of the Santa Fe River watershed to the confluence of Olustee Creek, one of the rivers main feeders. It’s a small, winding, high-banked creek which will not appeal to those interested in wetland communities and/or easy paddle trips. We usually don’t go far up Olustee, especially in low water, but for those who don’t mind having to pull their boat over a few fallen logs, there’s the possibility of seeing wood ducks, deer, beaver, otter, and even a few capybara?! Wildlife Compared to some of our trips, wildlife is relatively scarce here. There’s a fair population of deer in this area, but high banks discourage them from spending much time at the riverside. There are some ‘gators – especially one sizable fellow whose lair is in the area near the confluence of Olustee Creek and the Santa Fe. Many people have gotten wet – falling out of their boat or otherwise – when they surprised him sunning on his favorite, high sand bank. There is, however, one animal of special interest in this region. Capybaras have escaped into the wild reaches of the upper Santa Fe and lower...