Happy Canoe Year! This year, we've made a New Year's resolution to go camping at least 12 times, but not necessarily once a month.
This past weekend, we started to work on that commitment with a Happy Canoe Year Camping Extravaganza.
Over three days, we canoed approximately 40 miles on the Suwanee River in North Central Florida. The weather was a bit dreary but cool and bug-less; a scenario camping enthusiasts in Florida dream of. We put in just south of US 41 in White Springs and pulled out at Suwannee River State Park.
The river was high, but not particularly quick and the epitome of serene. Most of the boat ramps were closed to canoes and other vessels due to 'dangerous conditions' but I don't really understand their reasoning. Now, I'd like to say, I am not one to go against park rangers' advice any time I feel like they're wrong. For this trip, I made an exception as the Water Management District and the River Camp Hosts all said the conditions were perfect for everyone but those new to canoeing and we are definitely not new to wonderful world of canoe camping! The river level at White Springs was 59.3 ft above sea level, according to the Water Management District's gauge.
The river camps are a lot nicer than I was expecting but we hadn't planned on staying in one the first night. We were hoping to find a pleasant spot along on a sand bank for the night. That was not in the cards, so we found ourselves at the Woods Ferry River Camp. We reserved a platform site the week prior, just in case, but preferred the primitive side of the camp area. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get any photos of the established River Camps.
The second night, we found a glorious sand bank to camp on. The only thing that could have improved the night was a starry sky and North Florida was decidedly cloudy that evening. A campfire on the sand, great friends to laugh with, and delicious food to eat. It was an excellent trip that I hope we'll repeat soon.
Does this trip sound like one you'd like to take? There are some things you should keep in mind if you are new to this section of Florida, river camping, or camping on Water Management District property.