Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State ParkWhite Springs, Florida

We decided to head over to Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park, here in White Springs, Florida.  It is one of the nicest state parks that we’ve ever been to.  We initially had planned on staying there, but changed our mind because we wanted sewer hook-ups, and our campground is a little cheaper and better for our budget.  Next time we’ll probably stay here.

The Suwannee River runs through the park,  but there are no campsites along the river.  The water level is extremely low now and it’s a long way down!

We took a walk along the riverbank near the kayak and canoe launch area.  It was muggy and warm, but nice otherwise.

You can see the normal water levels in some of these pictures.  What you are looking at is the river floor, which is not normally visible.  We looked for some artifacts and found what appeared to be a piece of petrified wood but we were hoping to find some arrowheads or sharks teeth.




Not all the river was quite as low as the above pictures.


We brought the kayaks but decided against attempting to paddle the river.  You’d have to carry them over the sand bars.  Not my idea of a relaxing paddle down the Suwannee. 

The campground is one of the nicest we’ve seen.  The sites are very private with heavy vegetation between them.  There are plenty of sites that are big rig friendly and we saw plenty of large rigs parked very comfortably.  The sites are $20 and the cabins are $100.  

The cabins appeared to be fairly new and nice.


Here are a few photos of some of the nicest camp sites.

IMG_0430  IMG_0432

We aren’t sure how easily it would be to pick up a satellite signal.   We were wishing we had a compass with us, then I remembered, we had the Droid phone.  Surely with all those apps, I could find a compass.   Droid didn’t fail me.   How about this for a nice compass?   I had it upside down, but it still worked :)


I have decided I much prefer the Droid’s GPS function over our brand new Garmin.  The main thing I like about the Droid GPS is it’s satellite view.  The other thing is all I have to do is tell it where I want to go and it takes me there.  No keypad necessary :)   I’ll take some pictures of both so you can see the difference of the screens.

The  camp sites were angled so that you could easily back in, not the 90 degree angle that you see at many campgrounds.  It was a very well laid out campground and the sites were plenty large and level.  There was no shortage of great sites and the  roads were all paved. 

Some of our favorite sites were, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.  I cannot guarantee getting a signal from your satellite though.  There is heavy tree cover.

After we visited the camp ground we toured the rest of the park.  It’s very large and there is a lot to do. 

They have a craft area with several building for different types of crafts.  Apparently they have demonstrations every week.  Today we saw a blacksmithing demo, which was quite interesting.




I saw one that I knew both Paulette and Karen would be interested in :)  It’s a little hard to read but it was weaving and quilting.


They had a little craft store and Al wanted to buy a t-shirt.   He was kidding.   He knows he’s never getting another t-shirt :)  

   I did find an interesting seed that I wanted to buy and see if I could get it to grow.  If we weren’t selling the house, I’d have bought these seeds and planted them next spring.


There is a museum dedicated to the composer Stephen Foster.  He made the Suwannee River from his song “Old Folks at Home” which is more often known as “Way Down upon the Suwannee River.”  


Stephen Foster, wrote Old Suzanna, Camp town Races,   along with Old Folks at home.  He wrote over 200 songs, but died in his 30’s.  He was born in Pennsylvania and it’s thought that he never even saw the Suwannee River. 

There is a very nice tribute to him in this museum though with scenes depicting some of his famous songs.


The Carillon Tower plays a bit of his music every 15 minutes.  At noon it played an entire song. 


We spent an enjoyable afternoon at this State Park and highly recommend it. 



The Bunny photo of the day.  These are not wild rabbits.  The owners of the park have a little boy who owns them. 


Tomorrow we’re off to Big Shoals State Park.


  1. We have been in that area a number of times in the last three years and the water always seems to be low while we are there.

    Your pictures reminded us of the good times we had there.

    Thanks for the memories.

  2. Looks like a fun place to visit! I sure like the sound of those 'donut' seeds!! I'm just wondering if there are seeds for chocolate topped donuts??

  3. Nice photos!

    Have fun tomorrow!

  4. What great pictures of that park. I am adding it to my list along with Manatee Springs and Fort DeSoto, although hopefully I can come when the rains have added a bit more water so we can kayak there!

  5. Looks like a great State Park. Glad you are enjoying it. Any word back from the realtor about the house? Thanks for the hawk reminder - I totally forgot about them yesterday, dumb me.

  6. Ohhh I wonder if someone is demonstrating weaving or if they are just selling handwoven goods? Did you peek inside? You tease!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  7. Ohhh I wonder if someone is demonstrating weaving or if they are just selling handwoven goods? Did you peek inside? You tease!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  8. How funny, we are in Bardstown, Ky and there is a state park that we are going to stay at tonight and it is called, My Old Kentucky Home State Park and was also a Stephen Foster song from 1852 and was written when visiting relatives here.

    Kevin and Ruth

  9. Looks like a great place and looks like you are having a great time with the new camera. You'll have to let us all know when you are ready to harvest those donuts! :)

  10. We were interesting is visiting this area Your post encouraged us to be sure to stop by. Thanks so much!


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