Florida Trail: Suwannee River from Camp Branch to Swift Creek, White Springs, Florida
One of Florida's most attractive rivers valleys, the Suwannee River Valley has got it all: majestic bluffs, sandy beaches, tight and intricate tributaries, colorful springs, a surprising variety in elevation, and best of all, a 75-mile segment of the Florida Trail. The FT section between Camp Branch and Swift Creek - two special Suwannee feeder streams - is a true North Florida classic, showcasing most of the sights that make hiking along the Suwannee so wonderful. Even before you reach the Suwannee, you'll submerge into an unusual landscape, where the clear-bottomed Camp Branch (also known as Disappearing Creek) twists through a limestone chasm before vanishing into a dark sink, only to pop out at the Suwannee itself. From there, you'll pick up the Florida Trail, passing one gorgeous vista after another of the Suwannee River, crossing numerous scenic side streams like Jerry Branch, and scrambling through surprisingly deep ravines and up pointed hills. After close to 9 miles of hiking, you'll finally reach the hike's destination: Swift Creek, a lovely, cascading stream that dashes through Florida's version of the Grand Canyon before emptying into the Suwannee by an imposing limestone bluff. This hike occurred on Saturday, August 25th, 2018. My plan was to hike the blue-blazed FT access trail from the Camp Branch Trailhead to the Suwannee River (tracing the short Camp Branch Loop along the way), where I'd pick up the Florida Trail and follow it all the way to Swift Creek.
Florida Trail: Bell Springs to Robinson Branch Falls and Big Shoals, White Springs, Florida
Have you ever wanted to see a waterfall in Florida? Here's your chance. The waterfall on this hike is not high at all, but it's interesting in other aspects, not to mention that it's pretty powerful. Besides the waterfall, you'll get to experience the beauty of the Suwanee River Valley. Additionally, the hike continues to an anomalous natural sight: one of only two Class III whitewater rapids in Florida. This hike occurred on Sunday, July 19th, 2015. My plan was to hike the Florida Trail from the trailhead at Bell Springs to at least Robinson Branch Falls. Depending on conditions, I wanted to visit the Big Shoals on the Suwannee River, but a deep-looking ford of Robinson Branch happened to be my turnaround point, as I didn't have the proper gear for fording at the time. On Saturday, November 4th, 2017, I returned to the Bell Springs section of the Florida Trail at a time of lower water conditions. This time, with proper gear for fording the creek, I hiked all the way to Big Shoals, and the trail report has been updated for the trail between Robinson Branch Falls and Big Shoals.
Mark Oleg Ozboyd
Dear readers: I have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in this website and the Georgia Waterfalls Database the past five years. All of the work that has gone in keeping these websites updated with my latest trip reports has almost been like a full-time job. This has not allowed me to pick up a paid job to save up money for college, and therefore, I I've had to take out loans. If you find the information on this website interesting, helpful, or time-saving, you can say "thanks" and help me out by clicking the button above and making a contribution. I will be very grateful for any amount of support you give, as all of it will apply toward my college tuition. Thank you!
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