As we headed across to Florida, we had planned to stay near Pensacola on the beach for a few days at Fort Pickens Campground. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not cooperating and a big gulf storm washed a bunch of sand over the roads in the park and closed it. We decided not to wait around for it to reopen and instead continued on to Suwannee River State Park. I had initially chosen this park for its location close to I75, where we planned to head South. We were pleasantly surprised by the beauty and peace offered by this park.
This state park in right on the Suwannee River where it meets the Withalacochee River and the campground is nearly completely covered by big trees. It was nice to have the shade, when it was hot, but the falling acorns were a bit of a hazard whenever we sat outside to enjoy the shade or campfire. The roads are paved, but most of the campsites are unpaved and sandy. I suppose this was our “welcome to Florida, good luck keeping the sand outside your home” initiation.
We only stayed a few days, but decided to take advantage of the proximity to the river and try a canoe trip. Suwannee River Canoe Rentals picked us up right at our campsite and took us upriver about 7 miles. We called as we got back to the State Park River access and he came to pick up the canoe. Both the launch and stop were easy and the river scenery was gorgeous.
After our kayaking experience with my parents in July we were eager to compare. The canoe felt much less stable and paddling together in a single boat was not as fun for me. We worked together well, and Bob was an excellent steerer, but I couldn’t see or talk to him as easily as when we could float next to each other in separate kayaks. Also, sitting up higher on the canoe seats with no back support left us both with quite a bit of back pain. So, lessons learned – kayak over canoe and two rather than one. We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 hours on the river and hope you enjoy some of our pictures.