The Suwannee River is a 246-mile long river that runs from the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It is the third longest river in Florida and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Visitors to the Suwannee River often comment on the dark brown coloring that resembles tea or coffee. The river’s color comes from decaying vegetation from the Okefenokee Swamp that then flows down through the state of Florida. But the color doesn’t stop visitors from getting in and enjoying the river as well as the natural springs of the Suwannee.
The natural springs offer relaxing spots to swim in water that stays roughly 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. There are hundreds of springs to visit along the river, including Suwannee Springs located approximately 7.5 miles northeast of Live Oak, FL.
Suwannee Springs is comprised of six springs and is managed by the Suwannee River Management District.
While the Suwannee River has inspired numerous adventures over the years, for both locals and visitors alike, it has also inspired works of music that have stood the test of time.
The Suwannee River is the subject of two famous songs: “Old Folks at Home” and “Swanee.” Particularly interesting for native Floridians is that “Old Folks at Home (Swanee Ribber)” is the Official Song of Florida.
Written by Stephen Collins Foster in 1851, “Old Folks at Home”, was the most popular song published at that time and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The song was so popular that it started the tourist industry in Florida, bringing millions of people to the Suwannee River in search of the picturesque home described by Foster.
After one visit, it was easy for us to see why the Suwannee River continues to draw-in locals and tourists alike. So, the next time you’re looking for something to do outdoors, take advantage of the river being not so “far, far away” and spend a day on the Suwannee.