Suwannee River State Park | Outdoorsy

Suwannee River State Park
Guide

Introduction

The Suwannee River was made famous by Stephen Foster’s song, Old Folks at Home, which is now the state song of Florida. This iconic river flows through the Suwannee River State Park, one of the first state parks to be designated by the state of Florida. With more than 1,800 acres to enjoy, the park has something for everyone all year long. Swimmers, anglers, and boaters can enjoy the waters fed by many natural springs in the area, hikers can check out the trails, and the kids can play in the playground. And you don’t have to do it all in one day at Suwannee River State Park. There is a cozy little campground where you can park your RV for a night or up to 14 days.

What was once a bustling river with steamboats delivering goods is now a quiet and peaceful destination for RVers wanting to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. The beautiful limestone cliffs provide great views of the river, and the river itself provides many recreational activities. Paddlers take canoes and kayaks on day trips both above and below the park.

In addition to the natural beauty of this park, this area is rich in history, dating back to when the Spanish conquistadors arrived, decimating the native Napituca people. History buffs will enjoy touring the ghost town of Columbus, as well as earthworks used by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Whatever your interest, the Suwannee River State Park offers a beautiful backdrop to park your rig and relax for a few days.

RV Rentals in Suwannee River State Park

Transportation

Driving

This park has easy access for RV drivers, just off I-10, between Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Florida. It is 15 minutes from the town of Live Oak on Highway 90. The park entrance and ranger station are just off of Highway 90. The streets are paved and easy to navigate even in the largest rig. There is one main campground loop and separate roads leading to the cabin area, boat launch, and picnic pavilions.

The back-in and pull-through campsites are long enough to park your RV and tow vehicle. There are dirt, sand, and some gravel sites. The sites are spacious with lots of shade from the surrounding cypress and oak trees. Previous campers have commented that some sites are sloped, so you may want to hunt around for the spot that suits your rig the best.

You can get around by foot within the campground, but you’ll probably want to use your tow vehicle if you need to go stock up on supplies. There are plenty of stores and restaurants in the nearby town of Live Oak. Other campers have cautioned that if driving through the agriculture inspection station and you’re in a pickup truck, you may be asked to stop.

Parking

If you are staying overnight, the campground is the easiest place to park your rig. However, there are also parking lots located near the cabins and the Earthworks Trail. It's also easy to explore the park on foot or by bike thanks to the numerous nature trails dotted around the park.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Suwannee River State Park

Campsites in Suwannee River State Park

Reservations camping

Perry KOA

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that offers paddling, boating, fishing, hunting, scalloping, and more, then head over to the family-friendly and pet-friendly Perry KOA located in Florida’s Big Bend area. Pristine beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling are just down the road. The campground’s RV sites provide full hookups. While at the campground, guests can enjoy the clubhouse, pool, pedal cars, and much more. This KOA also welcomes motorcycle and rally groups.

Suwannee River State Park Campground

This small campground has 30 sites with full hookups, meaning you'll have the luxury of electricity, water, and sewer connections. Three of the sites are-ADA accessible. A dump station is also available so you can dump your black tank if needed. Most sites are on gravel pads underneath the shade of majestic Florida trees. Pets are welcome as long as they are maintained by their owner on a six-foot leash or otherwise restrained.

Campers enjoy the private, spacious sites with shade from the many oak trees. There is a laundry station as well as a bathhouse with modern restrooms and hot showers. The kids will enjoy the playground at the picnic area, and the campground is also conveniently located near several nature trails. RVs and trailers up to 45 feet long are permitted; however, some of the sites are smaller and range from 12 to 30 feet in length, so it is best to check this when you reserve your spot. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

First-come first-served

Suwannee River State Park Campground (First-Come, First-Served)

If you forgot to make a reservation or just happen to be at the park and want to stay longer, rangers will also accept campers on a first-come, first-served basis if any spots are available. However, reservations are highly recommended. It's not hard to plan ahead since reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Rules and regulations are the same for first-come, first-served sites, and you are able to use the amenities just like everyone else.

Each of the sites has full utility hookups, and you will be able to cook outside on the campfire ring. But you are welcome to use your own BBQ grill or camp stove if you would rather. And the large picnic table seats eight people so you can all eat together. There is no need to try and balance your food in your lap sitting in a camp chair. Pooches are welcome as well as long as they are restrained and supervised during your visit.

Alternate camping

Group Campsites

Do you have a large family or group of friends you want to camp with? The regular campsites only allow eight guests per site so if you have more than eight people, you are going to have to get more than one site and try to get them close together. But why do all that when the park offers two campsites available for group camping? The Lime Sink Group Camp accommodates groups of up to 30 campers and is located just across the river from the campground along the Big Oak Trail. You will be right at the confluence of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers.

Hickory Bend is a bigger group campground for up to 45 people along the Suwannee River. This site is in the northern area of the park far from everyone else so you will have plenty of privacy. Each of the campsites has electricity, water, picnic tables, and campfire grills to cook on. You will also have access to a bathhouse with hot showers and modern restrooms with running water. Reservations are needed and can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Cabins

If you are thinking that you may want to get out of the trailer for a night or two while you are at Suwanee River State Park, check out their cabins. Nestled in the woods along the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, there are five vacation cabins available to rent. The cabins are furnished to accommodate up to six guests with five beds, a kitchenette with kitchen utensils, indoor heat, and air-conditioning.

Televisions and phones are not provided as a way to help guests completely unplug and lose themselves in the peace and quiet of nature. However, there’s a fireplace with a sofa and comfy chairs in the cozy living room. And with rocking chairs on the porch and a grill to cook on, you can also enjoy the outdoors while you are at the park. What a great way to invite your non-camping friends to join you on your RV vacation!

Seasonal activities in Suwannee River State Park

Off-Season

Birding and Wildlife Viewing

Suwannee River State Park is listed as a premier destination for viewing birds and wildlife in the state of Florida. Numerous aquatic zones plus forest settings blend to create homes for many animals. Wading birds like the Suwannee River Cooter are found here as well as nocturnal birds like the eastern screech-owl and the common nighthawk. Herons, egrets, and various types of woodpeckers live here too. Other types of critters who dwell within the state park include alligators, turtles, and white-tailed deer.

Exploring Historic Sites

Step back in time during your RV trip to Suwannee River State Park and visit the historic sites preserved here. There is an old ferry landing at the junction of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers, which was once a busy shipping port. Explore the former town of Columbus, where an old cemetery can still be found. Earthworks used during the Civil War by Confederate forces are another interesting feature of the park. There are interpretive signs along the trails marking these places.

Picnicking

Two historic picnic pavilions are located near both the Earthworks and Suwannee River Trails, overlooking the river. Each pavilion can accommodate up to 50 guests. Picnic tables and restrooms are available as well as a playground for the kids. There is also a porch swing here for guests to enjoy relaxing in while they take in the view and listen to the sounds of nature all around them. Barbecue grills are available here too, so you can cook up some burgers and hot dogs. And you can even rent the observation platform for a picturesque wedding setting.

In-Season

Hiking

There are six trails in the park ranging from a quarter-mile to 12 miles long. The 0.8-mile Sandhill Trail will take you through a pine forest towards the ghost town of Columbus, where you can visit the old town cemetery. The quarter-mile Earthworks Trail will take you past the defenses erected by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The Lime Sink Trail is a 0.75-mile loop trail that leads along the ridge overlooking the Suwannee River and past the Little Gem Spring Overlook. If you are really looking for some exercise, the Big Oak Trail is 12.5 miles long and leads to one of the largest oak trees in the state. Be sure to bring your water and bug spray!

Swimming

Suwanacoochee and Little Gem Springs are just two of the springs that feed into the rivers in the Suwannee River State Park. You can enjoy cooling off and playing on the sandy beaches with your family. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen in your camper so you can enjoy splashing in the majestic waters in the Florida sun. You don’t want to spend the rest of your vacation with a sunburn. Make sure you note that there is no lifeguard so you will be swimming at your own risk.

Paddling

The Suwannee River extends a total of 246 miles, from southern Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico. There are many different backcountry kayak trips you can make from the campground. If you time it correctly, you can even participate in an annual paddling festival held on the Suwannee River. Depending on rainfall, you can have completely different trip conditions. Always check with the ranger station on the status of the water. Both the Withlacoochee River and Suwannee River are accessible from the boat launch in the park. There are private rental companies nearby which can help you with boat rentals if you didn’t bring your own. When you take an RV trip to Suwannee River State Park, you won't want to miss the chance to get out on its beautiful waters.

Find the perfect campsite.