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Boating & Canoeing

Important Change in River Level Measurements

Beginning in August 2016, the District will start implementation of the use of a new vertical datum, the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88). In the past, the District has used the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29). The new datum will result in a downward shift of between 0.64 to 0.90 feet depending on location. There is no change in the actual river level, only the value used to represent the level is different. The full conversion is expected to be complete by November 1, 2016.
More information about the vertical datum change may be found at or by calling the District offices at 386-362-1001 and asking to speak with Tom Mirti, Director of Water Resources.


Suwannee River Wilderness Trail is a system of public and private recreation and visitor facilities focused on paddling the Suwannee River from White Springs to the coastal town of Suwannee.

The District has partnered with Florida State Parks to build rustic river camps for overnight stays along the Wilderness Trail. River camps, accessible only by foot or from the river, offering five screened sleeping platforms, a pavilion for dining and group activities, and restrooms are located at the following District properties:

  • Woods Ferry
  • Holton Creek
  • Dowling Park
  • Peacock Slough
  • Adams Tract

For more information and/or to reserve lodging, call 800.868.9914 or visit the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail website.

The Suwannee River water level fluctuates rapidly. The river levels below are recommendations and experiences for paddling the Upper Suwannee River section. River levels and experiences are determined using levels from the White Springs gauge. View real-time levels via the River & Lake Levels links on the District's web site at or connect directly to the Current River & Lake Levels page via The White Springs gauge is the third listing under Suwannee River.

River level below 51'
  • Some areas are too low to paddle and will require portaging vessels over sections of the river.
  • Slow moving current.
River level between 51' and 59'
  • Ideal paddling conditions.
  • River current varies from slow to moderate.
River level between 60' and 64'
  • Swift moving current.
  • River level may be up to tree line in some areas.
  • Inexperienced paddlers should reconsider their trip.
  • Experienced paddlers should use caution.
River level 65' and above
  • Very fast moving current.
  • Paddling not recommended.

When the Suwannee River water level at White Springs is above 65', boating and paddling is not advised downriver. When the river is below 51' the paddler will encounter shallow sections of the river. Power boating is not recommended above Troy Springs seven miles upriver from Branford.

Boat Ramps and Canoe Launches

For information on boat ramps and canoe launches along the upper and lower Suwannee River plus portions of the Alapaha, Santa Fe, and Withlacoochee rivers, see our Boat Ramps & Canoe Launches map (PDF, 3.29MB) or use our interactive map via Those familiar with user-generated maps and XML may want to download the KML file.

Boat Ramps & Canoe Launches poster (PDF, 3.73MB)

October 8, 2016 –  All District lands in the following counties are open:  Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, and Levy.  It includes Santa Fe Swamp WEA, Devil's Hammock WMA.  The trails at  Bell Springs, Gar Pond and Little Shoals tract.  For information contact Edwin McCook 386-647-3106 or

June 23, 2016
- Signs are posted closing portions of the Mill Creek South tract  to the public due to timber harvesting operations.  The tract will be closed until further notice.  For information contact Bob Heeke 386-647-3166 or

January 21, 2016 - Road 55-4 in the Steinhatchee Springs tract located on the west side of SR 51 has been closed to vehicles due to extreme wet conditions.