Suwannee River, Florida
Suwannee River Drainage Basin
|, Georgia (U.S. state), Florida|
|Cities||Fargo, Georgia, White Springs, Florida, Branford, Florida|
|Source||Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge|
|⁃ location||Fargo, Georgia|
|Mouth||Gulf of Mexico|
|Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, Suwannee, Florida|
|0 ft (0 m)|
|Length||246 mi (396 km)|
|⁃ location||Gulf of Mexico|
|⁃ left||Santa Fe River|
|⁃ right||Alapaha River, Withlacoochee River|
The Suwannee River (also spelled Suwanee River) is a river that runs through south Georgia southward into Florida in the southern United States. It is a wild blackwater river, about 246 miles (396 km) long. The Suwannee River is the site of the prehistoric Suwanee Straits which separated peninsular Florida from the panhandle.
The headwaters of the Suwanee River are in the Okefenokee Swamp in the town of Fargo, Georgia. The river runs southwestward into the Florida Panhandle, then drops in elevation through limestone layers into a rare Florida whitewater rapid. Past the rapid, the Suwanee turns west near the town of White Springs, Florida, then connects to the confluences of the Alapaha River and Withlacoochee River.
Starting at the confluences of those three rivers, that confluence forms the southern borderline of Hamilton County, Florida. The Suwanee then bends southward near the town of Ellaville, Florida, followed by Luraville, Florida, then joins together with the Santa Fe River (Florida) from the east, south of the town of Branford, Florida.
The river ends and drains into the Gulf of Mexico on the outskirts of Suwannee, Florida.
The Spanish recorded the native Timucua name of Guacara for the river that would later become known as the Suwannee. Different etymologies have been suggested for the modern name.
The Suwannee River area has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. During the first millennium CE, it was inhabited by the people of the Weedon Island archaeological culture, and around 900 CE, a derivative local culture, known as the Suwanee River Valley culture, developed.
By the 16th century, the river was inhabited by two closely related Timucua language-speaking peoples: the Yustaga, who lived on the west side of the river; and the Northern Utina, who lived on the east side. By 1633, the Spanish had established the missions of San Juan de Guacara, San Francisco de Chuaquin, and San Augustin de Urihica along the Suwannee to convert these western Timucua peoples.
In the 18th century, Seminoles lived by the river.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, "The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is unlike other refuges in that it was not established for the protection of a specific species, but in order to protect the high water quality of the historic Suwannee River."
The Suwannee River Wilderness Trail is "a connected web of Florida State Parks, preserves and wilderness areas" that stretches more than 170 miles (274 kilometers), from Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge offers bird and wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, canoeing, hunting, and interpretive walks. Facilities include foot trails, boardwalks, paddling trails, wildlife drives, archaeological sites, observation decks and fishing piers.
|Suwannee River Sill||Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge|
|Norfolk Southern Railway
(Former Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway line)
|/ /||Edith to Fargo||1952|
|Turner Bridge (defunct)||Northeast 38th Trail||Cypress Creek Conservation Area||late 1950s|
|Bay Creek Conservation Area||1951||290027|
|Cone Bridge (defunct)||Cone Bridge Road||late 1960s|
|Godwin Bridge (defunct)||Godwin Bridge Road||late 1950s|
|Norfolk Southern Railway
(Former Georgia Southern and Florida Railway line)
|Ed Scott Bridge||White Springs||1980||290083|
|J. Graham Black-Joseph W. McAlpin Bridge||White Springs||1954||290030|
|Suwannee Springs Bridge (closed)||Former US 129||Suwannee Springs||1931||1974|
|Old Suwanee Springs Bridge (defunct)||91st Drive||Suwannee Springs||1930s|
|Suwannee Springs, Florida||1971||320019|
|Former Savannah, Florida & Western Railway line (ACL, SBD, CSXT)||186?||1988|
|Nobels Ferry Bridge||1984||320052|
|Old Nobels Ferry Bridge (defunct)|
(Former Pensacola and Georgia Railroad line)
|Hillman Bridge (closed)||Former US 90||Ellaville||1926||1986|
|Suwannee River State Park||1971|
|Former Live Oak, Perry and Gulf Railroad line||Dowling Park||1957||1977|
|Hal W. Adams Bridge||Luraville||1947||330009|
|Drew Bridge (closed)||Former Suwannee & San Pedro Railroad line||Mayo||1901||1920|
|Frank R. Norris Bridge||Branford||1989|
|W. O. Cannon - D. W. McCollister Bridge||1965||310002|
|Nature Coast State Trail
(Former CSX Transportation line)
|Joe H. Anderson Sr. Bridge||
|Fanning Springs||1963||300031, 300061|