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Camping Suwannee River State Park in North Florida

Camping Suwannee River State Park in North Florida

Camp Florida: I’m talking with Riana today. She’s the Park Ranger at Suwannee River State Park in Florida. How’s it going today, Riana?

Riana: It’s going well.

Camp Florida: So let’s start with how long Suwannee River State Park has been there and how it got started.

Riana: Okay. The initial property was purchased in the ’30s. It was one of the original CCC Parks, which is the Civilian Conservation Core. It opened to the public as a State Park in 1951.

Camp Florida: Okay. And what types of camping do you offer there?

Riana: We have a full service campground. Water, sewer, and electric. We have 30 sites of various sizes, so we can accommodate all types of rigs. We also have two Youth Groups areas located within the Park. One holds about 35 youth and the other holds about 40.

Camp Florida: Okay. And what are the most popular activities for the guests there?

Camping Suwannee River State Park in North Florida
Photo by Raymond Eby

Riana: We have a boat launch here, in the Park, that services two rivers. The Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River. The confluence is located right here within the Park, so lots of fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. We also have several miles of hiking trails. We are still a hub for the Florida Trails, so we have a spur called the Big Oak. So, if you would like to go for a one-mile hike or a twelve-mile hike, we can set you up.

Camp Florida: And what are some of your favorite attractions in the surrounding area?

Riana: We are lucky enough to have several State Parks within a 45-minute ride. We have Spring Parks, like Madison Blue Spring and the (Unclear 1:33.6) Blue Springs. We also have the world-famous Steven Foster Folk Cultural State Park, located in White Springs, about 30 minutes from here, which has the largest (Unclear 1:44.7) or bell tower in the world. We also have some private parks located in close proximity as well as some historic towns, such as Madison.

Camp Florida: Okay, two more questions for you, Riana. If you were going to spend just one hour in Suwannee River State Park, what would you do with your time there?

Riana: I would probably bring a picnic and enjoy our day’s area, and then enjoy a couple of our smaller trails, one of which is the Earth Works Trails, which gives you a little walk over some Civil War era earthworks that were constructed in 1861, or take a hike through our Sand Hills Trails, which will take you through one of the historic cemeteries in the State of Florida. That’s (Unclear 2:31.9) from the Town of Columbus in the mid-1800s.

Camp Florida: Okay, sounds fun. And if you could spend just one night in Suwannee River State Park, which particular campsite would you choose and why?

Riana: Oh, something I forgot to mention earlier is we also have five vacation cabins located here in the Park.

Camp Florida: Oh, tell me about those.

Camping Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in North Florida Bridge
Photo by Mario Peralta

Riana: Well, we have five of them. The layout of them are all fairly similar with the exception of one of them is ADA-accessible. They are two-bedroom. One bedroom is a queen. One bedroom has two twins in it. So, they sleep up to six. Full service kitchen, central heat and air, bath, electric fireplace, wrap-around screen porches. So, we can accommodate anything from the very primitive camper all the way up to the vacationer. So, it would depend on what I wanted to do as to where I would want to stay.

Camp Florida: Oh, okay. Let’s say you were tent camping. Which site would you prefer?

Riana: If I were tent camping, I would probably choose Site #30. All of my sites are in a little loop, and it’s a little off to itself, so it’s fairly primitive for a tent. And it also gives you readily access to our new campground restroom facilities, which are state of the art, hot water, and washing machine, dryer, and a reading area.

Camp Florida: Perfect. That gives us a little tip we can pass on to our visitors. Well, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day, Riana, to chat with us-

Camp Florida: All right, you have a great week.

Riana: You too.

Camp Florida: Bye.

Riana: Bye-bye.

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