Water Level Planning Guidelines
Suwannee Canoe Outpost

How do you know if the Suwannee has enough water to do the
trip you want?
 The recent drought, said to be the worst since 1958,
lowered water levels from May 2006 to August 2007, but
here's an easy
so you can see at a glance if your trip will be OK:

1. For upper-river trip planning, we use the
Suwannee River Water
Management's water level info from the White Springs measuring station
for reference. You can see that info page

2. Based on the recent drought (2006-2008) and flood (April 2009), we
have determined the following water level guidelines for
Suwannee trips (
Okefenokee Swamp to Suwannee River State

3. All measurements are approximate.  Conditions vary widely on the
200+ miles of the Suwannee River. At high or low water, one section
might be fine, while another section is troublesome.


77+ feet: Suwannee River at flood stage near White Springs and
possibly at the Canoe Outpost, 22 miles down river.

68-77 feet: No beaches. Camping difficult; debris in river; swift current;
powerful eddies and undercurrents. Possibly dangerous conditions,
especially for novice paddlers.
Big Shoals campsite under water at 68

60-68 feet:
Some camping beaches. Current faster than usual. Possible
"strainers" (tree branches hanging into river, which can trap boats in the
current and cause capsizing) on river's edge.


56-60 feet: "Medium: to "high-medium" river conditions. Medium current
in most areas. Beaches mostly exposed and good for camping.  Some
scenery, such as limestone bluffs and outcroppings. Big Shoals "kicking."

52-56 feet: "Low-medium" to "medium" river conditions.  Ideal for
camping on beaches.  Slow to medium current in most areas.
balance between camping, current, and scenery.
All trips open, from
the Swamp to the Gulf. Big Shoals probably too low to run at this level.

(We recommend portaging Big Shoals anyway.)


51-52 feet: Some low-water hazards above I-75; proceed with caution.  
Possible trouble areas: Roline boat ramp to Cone Bridge boat ramp;
Big/Little Shoals.
The river is generally fine in nearly all areas.

50-51 feet:
Trips above Cone Bridge boat ramp not recommended for
people with their own boats.
Some possibly nasty areas from Roline
boat ramp to Cone Bridge boat ramp and from Big Shoals to Stephen
Foster State Park below White Springs.
<50 feet: The Canoe Outpost will not send our canoes above I-75
because of possible damage. Trips above I-75 not recommended; day
trips affected, too.
(All of our day trips begin below I-75.)

4. During the entire drought, all trips were open from our location
(roughly US129)
down river, but in some spots the river was only a few
inches deep at the worst point of the drought.


is about 67 miles up river from the Canoe Outpost.
Roline boat ramp is about 53 miles up river.
Cone Bridge boat ramp is about 38 miles up river.
Big Shoals is about 27 miles up river.
U.S. 41 boat ramp at White Springs is about 22 miles up river.
Stephen Foster State Park (FL) is about 19 miles up river.
I-75 is about 13 miles up river.

5. We also recommend
Bill Logan's excellent Suwannee river camping

6. We try to get on the river ourselves as much as possible so we can
give you eyes-on information about river conditions, including the
Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers.  

Call us when in doubt, or for more information, at 386-364-4991.