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Lower Suwannee NWR - River Trail

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

Andrew Thoreson
Mar 2019
 Typical view [?]
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Typical View (18)

Snapshots! (11)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? A
Birding C *
Wildlife A
Summer Heat A
Terrain B
Fun Hike A
Maintained B
Mosquitos Not Rated
Biting Files F *
Ticks C
NOTE: Not much but what is there is excitign
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: CR 347 and NW 31 Place, Chiefland, FL, Levy, USA, 32626

1) What It's Like

A boardwalk path through tall wild cypress trees to the edge of a completely wild spot on the Suwanee River. Path loops back to a short trail back to the parking area.

2) Kinds of Birds

Pileated woodpeckers and swallow tailed kites come to mind. There were other forest birds on the trail out but the cypress trees are tall and river is deep enough that you might not see wading birds in water or forest birds in canopy.

3) Wildlife

Usually we see deer walking around the submerged cypress knees out here.

4) Amenities

Kiosk with info and lots of maps/brochures but no bathrooms etc. Boardwalk is very nice.

5) Time Requirements

We stayed an hour last time we were there. It's a place you tend to stop and take in the view though so your time may vary.


Deer seem to be just around a lot. We've seen them in the parking lot and more often actually in the water (it's not deep). The place feels big - there are tons of tall cypress trees as far as you can see on both sides of the river. So walking out it feels like you're in a cathedral somewhat - all that vertical space. Then when you reach the river it's unusual to be seeing such a large space with no sign of other humans. It's a pretty wide river and nothing but trees as far as you can see or hear. It's a little bit like seeing a canyon. The way out is more but you hit more normal forest (not cypress) with a lower patch between. Here we had an exciting encounter with a swallow tailed kite swooping in low late in the year that was impressive. 

So it's not huge but it's a gorgeous place that makes you think Florida can be kind of special sometimes and remind you of what it might have been like before they cut down every old growth tree they could find 200 years ago.

Deer flies here can be INTENSE. So if it's summer you need to plan ahead. See my article here.

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