Driving Around image
White Springs is centrally located, Northeast of the intersection of I-10 and I-75. Each trip listed here is a comfortable day's activity. There is great photography and wildlife viewing, early or late are the best times to see wildlife along the road trips on the east side of the County. Directions are given as if you were to begin in White Springs. Most park entrances have a kiosk with maps.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is in White Springs, and along with full hookup camping and lovely cabins with screened in porches, it also has a vibrant Crafts Village, where local and guest artisans work on pottery, weaving, painting, and metalworking.

The museum on the grounds of the park was built in 1950 and features dioramas depicting Stephen Foster songs. The museum also has several historic pianos, including one with a Janko keyboard.

The park is also home to the Carillon Tower, a 200 foot high campanile with a 97 bell carillon, the world's largest tubular bell instrument. Currently it is in the process of being restored.

The park is host to the Florida Folk Festival each Memorial Day weekend, and the Festival of Lights in December, and other events throughout the year. Click here for more information and reservations.

Stephen Foster State Park 
walking tour 2 hours-easy 
museum, carillon tower, craft store, craft demonstrations, wifi café, picnic tables, playground, RV, tent, and cabin camping.

Swift Creek 
hike 1-1.5 hour - easy
Unusual geology, beautiful floodplain forest, river berm, limestone outcrops. No facilities. Take 25A out of White Springs for 4 miles to Entrance, take left and drive to kiosk and hike down river to creek.

Camp Branch 
hike  2-2.5 hours - easy
Travel 4 miles from swift creek entrance, take left and park at kiosk. Unusual geology, floodplain forest. Hike road to creek where a short hike around the sinkholes is marked by blue blazes. The creek has been captured by a sinkhole; No facilities.

Big Shoals State Park

Woodpecker Trail hike 2-1/2 hours - easy to moderate
Drive out FL 135 to the Little Shoals entrance to Big Shoals State Park. The Woodpecker Trail is a paved 3.4 mile trail. Return is either back on the Woodpecker Trail, or along road 1 which roughly parallels the trail. A rare, mature, hardwood, riverine slope forest. Incredible diversity of plants, views of river. Birding and photography.

Little Shoals hike 2-1/2 hours - easy to moderate
Hike road 7. A rare, mature, hardwood, riverine slope forest. Incredible diversity of plants, views of river. Birding and photography.

Big Shoals hike 3 hours - easy
Big Shoals is the largest white water rapids in Florida. Geologic features, river berm, overlooks, birding, cypress swamps, old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) bridge site, mature pine forest, wildflowers, gopher tortoises. Sand bar at end is worth the trouble of climbing down to it.
Jennings Bluff Alapaha River/Dead River
Hike 5 hours, including drive from White Springs - easy-to-difficult,
It is up to you how difficult you make it. This is the most geologically spectacular sight in Florida. The Alapaha River goes completely under ground much of the year, it is captured by a creek that flows away from the river for about a mile, to where it disappears into a sinkhole. The creek is locally called Dead River.

No facilities. From entrance to public land (a few hundred feet from cemetery) follow road to kiosk (1 mile), hike road to sharp left bend at river, continue to follow road to where the River goes underground into sinkhole. Or the best views are to climb down the river bank at sharp left bend and hike up dry river bed until meeting Dead River and follow to left for a mile hike to the sinkhole. If river has water in it, hike the forest along top of Dead River. Easy hike in woods or road. Difficult-to-moderate if hiking the river and creek bed. Unusual geology, beautiful old forest, dry river bed, photography. Visit historic Jennings Bluff Cemetery just past the entrance to Park property.

Public Restrooms:
County government buildings, State Parks, County Parks, convenience stores, libraries, restaurants, grocery stores, White Springs Tourism Center. On the River, the park system has constructed four camping areas where all boaters can use the facilities.

Madison Blue Springs State Park 
A few minutes away is one of Florida's true blue springs. From Dead River, drive to Jennings and take 143 to SR6, go right about a mile, entrance on left over bridge. Madison Blue Springs is a park on the Withlacoochee River. It has a first-magnitude spring, over 80 feet wide and 25 feet deep. The park closes when it reaches capacity. the park is 30 miles from White Springs on picturesque country roads. Swimming, relaxing and picnicking. Bathroom and changing facilities. This superb spring must be the one Ponce de Leon was looking for. Click here for more information on availability.

Blue Springs Unit 
hike  - 1/2 hour- easy
Leave Blue Springs, go back across bridge for 2 miles, entrance on left. This hike is through a vanishing part of Florida, a long leaf pine, wire grass ecosystem. A rare forest, great birding, wild flowers, gopher tortoises. No facilities. Drive back through Jasper and take in the Historic Homes Drive.

Holton Creek and Suwannee Ridge
hiking- easy 
Holton Creek is where the Alapaha River reemerges to land surface. Spend all day here, bring water and food. Nearby Gibson Park has facilities. Miles of hiking along the River Floodplain, explore the surrounding area. Spectacular mature floodplain forests to sand hill environment, flowers, great birding, unusual geology, sinkholes, spring run, great views, old trees (a few champions), wildlife. Spring woods lily bloom is incredible. Directions are easy to follow on map but too long to describe here.

Bank fish the Upper Suwannee, get crickets/worms, cane pole and bobber. Roline Boat ramp, Turner Bridge ramp,  SR6 canoe launch.

Take picnic and water. Leave White Springs on 135 north and intersect SR6, SR6 canoe launch is to your right. 135 continues as a dirt road, Turner and Roline are old CCC bridge sites. No facilities. You can hike a little ways up and down the river at these three locations. You are a long way from the hustle and noise of life up here.

Bienville is a resort a few miles north of White Springs that offers bass fishing and gator hunting, as well as beautiful accommodations in five guest lodges, or dry camping. Go to their website for more information.

Hamilton County Museum and Heritage Center
The Hamilton County Museum and Heritage Center is in Jasper, 20 miles north of White Springs. The museum offers a look into Hamilton County's agricultural past. Click here for more information

Hamilton County Old Jail Museum
The Old Jail Museum is a historic building located at 501 Northeast 1st Avenue. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The Old Hamilton County Jail now serves as the Hamilton County Historical Museum.

The jail was built in 1893 and served as the Hamilton County Jail until 1984. It is a two-story brick structure with a steel and concrete frame. The jail is notable for its unusual architecture, which includes a central tower and a circular cellblock.

The museum offers tours of the jail and its exhibits on the history of the area. The exhibits include photographs, artifacts, and documents related to the jail and its inmates. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for children and adults.
Osceola National Forest is East of White Springs, a vast expanse of forest roads through flatwoods and swamps. Two worthy features are a Lookout Tower with a view of the forest, and Ocean Pond, a lake for paddling and fishing.

West Tower
West Tower Osceola National Forest is a 14 mile drive East, with the roads in the forest unpaved.

Ocean Pond
Ocean Pond and Olustee Beach is 27 miles East. The shallow lake supports kayaks and canoes and low-powered boats. The sandy beach supports swimming.

Olustee Battlefield
Just south of the National Forest is Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, where Florida's largest Civil War battle took place in 1864. The park has a mile-long interpretive trail. Click here for more information.
Suwannee Springs Bridge
There are only 13 bridges that motor vehicles can use to cross the Suwannee River. As roads improve, sometimes a bridge is replaced with a wider, better bridge. The Suwannee Springs Bridge (aka The Graffitti Bridge) used to be part of US 129, and it has received so much graffitti over the years it's more interesting that most bridges.You can drive close, but the bridge itself only supports pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It's address is 3061 93rd Dr, Live Oak.

Just up the dirt road from the bridge is Swannee Springs State Park, a historic old swimming hole with a parking lot. Its address is 3243 92st Drive, Live Oak.

Ellaville Bridge
Continue South from US 129 on CO 132 to Suwannee River State Park, and across the river on US 90 is the turn for the ghost town of Ellaville. The old bridge is still there for pedestrians, and there's parking at Dupont Park.

Hal W. Adams Bridge
The Hal Adams bridge crosses the Suwannee, connecting Live Oak with Mayo. It was the first suspension bridge built in Florida, in 1947. It is a Metal Pony Truss Stiffening Wire Cable Suspension bridge with a span of only 420 feet. There is a boat ramp on the Mayo side of the bridge where you can park to better appreciate the unique structure.

The bridge is 33 miles from White Springs, FL 136 to Live Oak, then FL 51 towards Mayo.