Friday, October 16, 2009

Paddle Florida - Get Down on the Suwannee River, and Go with the Flow!

Today, my sister Barb and her husband Larry, took my wife Cathy and I hiking at the Suwannee River State Park in Live Oak, Florida. Unexpectedly, we came upon a group known as Paddle Florida . Twenty kayakers were making a 123-mile eight-day trip from the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida to beautiful Manatee Springs State Park. We greeted them as they pulled ashore to prepare for a night of tenting.

We met Bill Richards, leader of the group. Bill enthusiastically answered my many questions about Paddler Florida. Moreover, Larry had just seen a huge fish jump in the middle of the river, and Bill identified the fish as the prehistoric Gulf Sturgeon.

Paddle Florida is held in cooperation with the Florida Park Service and the Suwannee River Water Management District. These two organizations have created the 171-mile Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. The Trail makes the Suwannee River accessible to paddlers, hikers, bikers, equestrian enthusiasts and other outdoor groups.

The Suwannee River trek sounds similar to the NH/ME Androscoggin River Trek to the Sea where participants can join the moving river celebration as a day trip, do a series of days, or paddle the entire 170 miles.

You can contact Bill Richards at to learn more about the Suwannee paddle, as well as other great paddles of Paddle Florida.

Now, I never have to say, “I wish I had been to the Suwannee River, met a member of Paddle Florida, and learned about the ancient Gulf Sturgeon.”

Hmm, do you suppose a trek with Paddle Florida is in the future for Outdoor Steve?

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