Suwannee Adventures

Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp  to Suwannee Springs Launch.

Paddle Guide - Upper Suwannee River

Special Note:

Suwannee River Management offers a 24-hour automated phone line voice recording of current river levels. To reach the recording, call: (386) 362-6626 (800) 604-2272 (FL only).


The river banks in Georgia are protected – you will not see a home along the river until you are several miles into Florida.  Because of the shallow water, the only other boaters you are likely to meet are local fishers in small boats, although on hot weekends you will likely see people swimming and camping at road access points.

On the Upper Suwannee, the current is generally moderate and an easy paddle, although the current can get more treacherous at high water. When the water gets higher there are plenty of rapids and/or fast moving water areas. The big Whitewater areas are at Big Shoals (Class III at high water at 65 ft. in White Springs), Ellaville, and Little Shoals; inexperienced paddlers are urged to portage around the shoals. Definitely don’t run them in a loaded boat. 

Whitewater Rivers are, by their very nature, chaotic and confusing places, mixing bowls of water and rock that challenge paddlers to not only keep themselves upright but also find the best line to safety, while enjoying themselves in the process.

During periods of low water some areas may not be navigable, others may need some portage over exposed rocks. Extremely low water (51.6 ft. at White Springs) lots of rocks and shoals. Not recommended for inexperienced paddlers due to canoe damage. "Little Shoals" are also now a problem. Use caution! They can be deceiving.   For the Big Shoals, there is a path on the bank on the left going down river. You have to carry your canoe or kayak around the Shoals.  It can get very shallow, and will require walking your canoe or kayak  through sections  of the river.  At 50 to 52 feet I would not recommend a trip above Cone Bridge boat ramp. There are some bad areas from Roline boat ramp to Cone Bridge boat ramp also and from Big Shoals to Stephen Foster State Park below White Springs. The map below will be a lot of help to you.

What are those numbers in feet at White Springs I keep refering to ? Find out on my understanding water levels on the Suwannee.

On the Paddle Guide page I explain how far you can paddle in an hour.