Suwannee River Paddling Festival

 

The second annual Suwannee River Paddling Festival is scheduled for April 4-6.

Beautifully situated atop bluffs at the confluence of the scenic Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers, Suwannee River State Park will be home base for the 2014 festival featuring paddling trips on both rivers, a Friday night Water Expo, Saturday night concert, camping, hiking and an evening ghost tour.

Weekend paddling options from 12-20 miles are available on both rivers and to Pott Springs and Madison Blue Springs. Boat and paddler shuttles provided. The weekend package costs $125 per person and $200 per couple, which includes camping fees, ghost tour, all meals, shuttles, concert admission, an event t-shirt, boat sticker, reusable water bottle, and river trail maps. Paddling for just one day is $75/person plus $25 for shuttle service if needed. Concert-only tickets are $25 if purchased online in advance or $30 if purchased at the door. The ghost tour is a two mile hike from Suwannee River State Park to the old Drew mansion site, Ellaville town ruins and a graveyard and back.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit Florida Defenders of the Environment. This organization was founded in 1969 by Marjorie Harris Carr and a group of local activists to save the Ocklawaha River from the danger posed by the Cross Florida Barge Canal. From its humble beginnings in the Carr family living room, Florida Defenders of the Environment has grown into one of the oldest and most well respected environmental organizations in Florida. While remaining focused on the preservation, protection and restoration of Florida’s freshwater resources, its work has expanded to encompass environmental education initiatives and exploring the links between environmentalism and the arts.

In keeping with its mission, Paddle Florida is very proud to work with Florida Defenders of the Environment to make positive strides for our environment and emphasize education about the region’s water and wildlife ecology. Friday evening’s program at Suwannee River State Park will include a Water Expo showcasing conservation efforts, educational speakers, and local outdoor/recreation vendors.

For more information, contact Bill Richards, Executive Director of Paddle Florida, Inc., 352-377-8342 or [email protected] or visit http://paddleflorida.org/ or visit Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/paddleflorida.

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