Tag: Big Shoals State Park

Only Two Weeks Left At Big Shoals

BigShoals11282014 (11)Only two weeks left at Big Shoals State Park and then we move down the road about 6 miles to Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park for the first 4 months of the new year. It has been so peaceful here. Yes, we get a couple of visitors each day and more of the weekend. We have even gotten a couple of visitors who asked questions or just wanted to talk for a few minutes. The work is not difficult and basically only needs doing a couple days a week. All the other times we just are available for the visitors and to close the gates at night. So if you are thinking about volunteering here we hope you will consider it in the future.

The good is definitely the peace and quiet here. The only bad we could say would be the sewer situation. You will have to buy about 80 feet of sewer hose to dump your black water and you can use a regular garden hose to dump your gray water. It would be nice to have a little storage building to use while we are here. But you can use the volunteer washer/dryer at Stephen Foster State Park for FREE. You will have the use of a Gator to run back and forth along the paved trail between Little Shoals and Big Shoals area as well as to explore the various trails while you are here. It has been nice here.

We are looking forward to transferring to Stephen Foster on January 1st. We know that it will be more work, more people and they don’t have sewers on site for the campground hosts either. We may not come back to Big Shoals as we have so many more places to explore. Nor, will we come back to Stephen Foster after we leave there at the end of April for the same reason.

We hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season. See you next year!


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More Rain Ugg

CrochetedGloves (76) (Copy)More Rain…Ugg! It rained a lot before we got here and it is raining more still. We have had a couple of days of freezing weather this past week that, hopefully, killed off most of the mosquitoes. In the past several days, our park ranger, Catherine, just informed us that we have gotten another 4 inches that has soaked into the ground but the forecast for today is for another 2 to 4 inches of the wet stuff. Of course, it will get colder here and the sun will come out just in time for our first Thanksgiving holiday that we will not go home for.

Mom and I have decided just to hang around this quiet, little park, and enjoy the sunshine and cook our turkey breast with a couple of our traditional family side dishes. That means no table filled with desserts that my grandmother has been baking for the last 10 days. This year, most of our family members will be spending Thanksgiving with the in-laws and Christmas at granny’s house. My aunt Sherry, from Denver, will be with my grandmother this Thanksgiving and they plan on a quiet little dinner as well. Of course, we will call everyone to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and catch on all the latest family gossip.
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Canoe and Kayak the Suwannee River

Adams Track River Camp Canoe Racks
Adams Track River Camp Canoe Racks
Canoeing and/or kayaking down the Suwannee River is a big past time in the north Florida area. We get visitors from all over the state and we have even met some people from up north who participate in organized trips almost every year. October and November are usually pretty great months to paddle down the Suwannee as there is little rain, the river hasn’t dropped to dangerously low levels yet and the bugs are not biting quite as bad with the cooler evenings. Granted, almost every outdoor activity in Florida is better during the late fall and early winter months. And since we are surrounding on three sides by water and have an abundance of rivers in our state canoeing and kayaking is a very popular activity all over and all year long.

My mom and I haven’t tried to canoe or kayak yet but since we have volunteered at two river camps and a state park right on the Suwannee River we have met and talked with quite a few people who do. And really, if you would like to see a fascinating part of the Florida natural environment then paddling down a river will give you that and a lot more. You can see parts of Florida that are only accessible to people in small boats. That means no cars and in a lot of cases no hikers either. Today’s kayak can hold your camping equipment and gear so that you can pull off into a river camp, state park, public boat launch or even a sandbar and spend the night enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. We do suggest that you always travel with bug repellent, seal all your food in plastic containers, and bring lots of bottled water or those little capsule things to make the water safe to drink. We have lots of springs running into the Suwannee and each of the river camps and state parks have potable water. You might even want to bring one of those pull around hammocks that are a combination of hammock and screen to keep you off the ground and those pesky bugs off while you sleep. A tent or tarp is also helpful in keeping the rain off. Continue reading “Canoe and Kayak the Suwannee River”

Our First Month at Big Shoals

BigShoals10022014 (3)Our first month at Big Shoals State Park has been uneventful and some would say even boring. But the weather is getting cooler and we are having a relaxing time. There are quite a few visitors that come every weekend but not so much during the week. We have been having problems with keeping the equipment going and we are no mechanics. The park currently only has one park ranger and waiting on a park services specialist to be hired. The park has a lovely picnic area right next to the river high on a bluff with picnic tables, barbecue grills and one fire pit.

There is a canoe/kayak launch down a sloping path that is overgrown with roots and has railroad ties as steps every so often. There a platform and some steps leading down into the river. There are no canoe/kayak racks for paddlers come down the Suwannee River before the park. Mostly, they come to launch to go the white water rapids area. The river is currently high and running fairly fast. With all the rain we have had over the last 4 weeks all the trails are wet with some even flooded in places. The 3 mile lone paved Woodpecker trail has to be blown off every week but we have only managed it one time since we have been here.
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Goodbye Woods Ferry Hello Big Shoals

BigShoalsSP06152013 (27)Goodbye Woods Ferry, Hello Big Shoals! Well, we finally made it to our new assignment. We will miss Woods Ferry River Camp with it’s sewer on-site, being able to take long, hot showers and free washer and dryer. We may even miss the river campers who came almost every weekend and some through the week. Big Shoals State Park has a cement pad park host site with electric and water behind the bathroom building and across from the picnic area next to the Suwannee River. The site itself may seem like it was put in backwards but it works. We had to drive in the wrong way around to pull into the park host site. This small park area has a circular, one-way, paved drive and with the RV utility hook-ups on the drivers side it was easier to come in the wrong way than to back into the site. Luckily, through the week, the park doesn’t get a lot of visitors. Since we don’t own a “Blue Boy” we had to purchase about sixty feet of sewer hose to be able to dump our black and gray water tanks. The sewer outlet is right next to the bathroom building on the side along with an outdoor cold shower. Since, it is a “Day Use” only state park when we lock the entrance gates at night there will be no visitors.
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Big Shoals State Park Needs Volunteers Too

Rapids at Big Shoals State Park.Big Shoals State Park Needs Volunteers Too this summer and next. It is a day-use only park with canoeing and kayaking as well as hiking trails. We haven’t had a chance to visit this one yet but we did drive through the Little Shoals area a few years ago. I guess, “Shooting the Rapids” is the main actively for a lot of visitors to this park. But there are picnic areas, you can fish and ride your horses there as well. This park is a couple miles away from the Stephen Foster Memorial State Park in White Springs, Florida. We accepted an assignment here for the end of the year. We received two emails with information about being a Park or Residential Host here and decided to just copy and paste the information directly into our article below.

1st Email:
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