Suwannee River State Park

We spent a week at this fabulous park. Probably one of the best parks we have visited so far especially for RV campers. It truly represents a “Full Facilities” state park. It not only offers campers electricity, water, picnic table, clothes line and a fire pit at each spot it includes a sewer hookup right on the site. This may not seem like such a big deal to most RVers but for those of us just starting out it is a great help to ease into the whole full time camping scene. There is lots of trees that provide shade and drops the temperature at least 10 degrees. The park sits next to part of the Suwannee River and is about 12 miles from the town of Live Oak, Florida and only about 5 miles from the little town of Lee, Florida off of U.S. Highway 90. They have trails throughout the property running along the river and into the woods. Don’t forget your mosquito repellant even in late September and October. There is a Day Use picnic area that has picnic tables, grills, a playground area for the kids, bathrooms and a couple of swings facing the river. It is a very relaxing view to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. While we were sitting one late afternoon we noticed a hawk sitting on a light pole surveying the area. Once the weekend comes there are quite a few people in the park however, like most camping areas in this area, during the work week it is much quieter.

There isn’t much to do except walk the trails, put in a boat or canoe, should you own one, and hang out. It does have several different kinds of walking trails ranging from a quick 10 to 30 minute stroll to the more strenuous 11 mile jaunt. We tried out four of the trails called the Earthworks Trail, the Suwannee River Trail, the Balanced Rock Trail and then into the woods to the Lime Sink Run Trail. There is a lot of up and down along the well-marked paths but take your time and wear sturdy shoes. The park personnel try to keep the trails clear of major debris but there are a lot of roots from the old trees that will trip you up. The boat ramp area is well kept and easy to get small boats into and out of the water. And there is a turn-around area to facilitate this maneuver. There is also a small parking area for boaters next to the cabin area. The cabins are huge and little pricey for our taste plus they do not allow pets in the cabins at all. But they are pretty with screened-in porches.

We were told that you can fish from the banks in this park but we could not find any easy accessible banks except for the boat launch area. The park is situated high on the banks and you are discouraged from going down to the river. There is no swimming area either. These are negatives for most campers. While we there we noticed there were a lot of people with tents stopping in for a night or two and off they would go. As with all Florida State Parks there is an assigned Camp Host that helps keep the camping area clean, cleaning the bathrooms and putting “reserved” signs on the spots that have been reserved for that day. The couple we met were friendly and helpful but for the most part they respect the camper’s privacy unless they get too loud or are breaking any of the park rules. Most of the campers we met were respectful of the other campers as well and they left their sites as they found them. Most state parks have recycling bins for cans and use the proceeds to help maintain the park. So please recycle your cans in the bins of whatever park you visit.

One of the main things we look for when we go to these parks is the Comfort Stations, in other words, the bathrooms and showers. This particular park has some excellent bathroom/shower houses. They are clean, large enough to accommodate most people (of course they have ADA facilities), mommy stations and the showers are great with lots of hot water and pretty decent water pressure. We will note that in most cases you will have to flush twice, wait a full 5 to 10 seconds for the automatic water faucets to turn on and be aware that they have two huge fans blowing constantly to help keep the moisture down. The wheelchair access shower in the main women’s bathhouse has a broken holder for the handheld shower head. There is a single bathroom/shower between the men’s and women’s shower that is wheelchair accessible and its handheld shower head holder is fine. There is only one washer and dryer that looks a little rough on the outside but the insides are clean and well maintained. The washer takes three quarters and the dryer requires four. Be warned, however, while we were there the dryer would take our money every third or fourth time we used it. And we used them every day. The ranger station can give you change (most times and if they are in the building) but we were never offered our money back. We just considered it as a donation. The ranger station has a small gift shop for those of us who like to have souvenirs of our stays. The T-Shirts were on the small side but they were only $5 anyway. Mom got a keychain with the park name and I got a metal emblem with the park name to put on my walking stick.

There are only two sites that have concrete slabs and those are for those with a certificate of disability. The concrete slabs are very nice and are located on either side of the bath house. The other sites seemed to be pretty level, except the one we were in, of course. We got in late and once I finally got the RV lined up with the utilities I was too tired to notice we tilted just a little bit. You absolutely need to make a reservation ahead of time if you have a fairly large vehicle but they do have an ADA site and one or two other sites that they hold in reserve for “drop-ins”. There are about 25 sites in the RV/Tent camping area. This park has a “primitive” camping area and/or “group” area in another section of the park. With the weather getting cooler and hunting season starting up you really need to make an online reservation to assure your space. Weekends are very popular, of course.

Suwannee River State Park
3631 201st Path
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 362-2746
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Suwannee-River

FEES:
Admission Fee:
$5.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Camping Fee:
$22.00 per night, plus tax. Includes water and electricity. Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older or who hold a social security disability award certificate or a 100 percent disability award certificate from the Federal Government are permitted to receive a 50 percent discount on current base campsite fees. Proof of eligibility

Cabins Rental Fee:
$100.00 plus tax per night.
There are 6 cabins all together with one being wheelchair accessible.

Organized Youth and Adult Group Camping:
$1.00 per youth.
$5.00 per adult/chaperon.

Picnic Pavilion Fees:
$45.00 plus tax: Two covered pavilions are available for reservation. Both pavilions hold approximately 50 people, and include wooden picnic tables.

Canoe Rental Fee:
$10.00 – 2 hour minimum.
$15.00 – half day.
$25.00 – full day (8 hours).

RV SITES:
12 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 1
25 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 4
30 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 4
35 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 3
40 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 5
45 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 2
50 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 3
55 ft back-in – 30/50amp – 2
(two sites are cement pads for ADA visitors)

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA:
There is not a whole lot within an easy drive of this park. It is about 5 miles from Interstate 10 and 7 miles east from there is the town of Live Oak, Florida. Live Oak has lots of restaurants, a Walmarts, Lowes, pharmacies, etc. The little town of Lee, Florida going west on U.S. Highway 90 from the park is about 5 miles from there but doesn’t really offer anything in the way of entertainment. You can walk to the Ghost Town of Ellaville by way of an abandoned bridge that has the remains of the Drew Mansion. This is located between the park entrance and Lee or you can visit Falmouth Springs Conservation Area: http://www.floridasprings.org/visit/map/falmouth%20spring/

WHERE TO GET WHAT YOU NEED:

Groceries:
Convenience Store is located to the right outside the main entrance just about a mile from the park with gas, groceries and even a grill that serves hot breakfasts and lunches. It is called JayVeer Food Mart.

JayVeer Food Mart
20363 US Highway 90
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 364-7006

Walmart Supercenter
6868 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 330-2488

Gas:

JayVeer Food Mart
20363 US Highway 90
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 364-7006

BP Gasoline 5869
6886 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 364-1144

J K Food Mart
969 Ohio Avenue North
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 330-2421

Gillette’s Citgo Inc
320 East Howard Street
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 362-5171

Jimmies Auto & Truck Plaza
3167 Southeast Rogers Sink Road
Lee, FL 32059
(850) 971-5100

Propane:
Suwannee Gas
501 Howard St E
Live Oak, FL 32064
386-362-2108

24 Hour Emergency Service, Commercial, Cylinder Fill Station, Farm, Home, LP Gas Sales & Service, RV Fills, Used Appliances and New appliances

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suwannee-Gas/168312599851808

Restaurants:

Everything you might desire in fast food or even home cooking can be found in Live Oak, Florida about 12 miles away. Just turn left out of the park and head towards I-10. Get onto the expressway headed East to the next exit at U.S. Highway 129

Waffle House
6635 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 330-2277

McDonald’s
6653 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 362-6767

Wendy’s
6691 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 362-7878

Huddle House
6835 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 362-4025

Krystal
10555 Suwanee Plaza Blvd
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 208-079

Taco Bell
6804 U.S. 129
Live Oak, FL 32060
(386) 364-4885

Big Daddy’s Real Pit BBQ
314 72nd Trce
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 362-7427

Jay’s Restaurant
816 Howard St W
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 362-3534

Medical Care

Shands at Live Oak
1100 11th Street Southwest
Live Oak, FL 32064
(386) 362-0800

Madison County Memorial Hospital
309 Northeast Marion Street
Madison, FL 32340
(850) 973-2271

Other Websites You Might Want to Visit

Suwannee Democrat (Live Oak Newspaper): http://suwanneedemocrat.com/

City of Live Oak Official Website: http://www.cityofliveoak.org/

Town of Lee, Florida Official Website: http://www.leeflorida.org/

Ghost Town of Ellaville, Florida – http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=19939

Map of the Area

Map of Suwannee River State Park Area

We have created a little video of all the pictures we took while we were at this lovely park and posted it on YouTube. We will absolutely visit it again in the future and maybe for the whole allowed 14 days: