Suwannee, Florida is on the Gulf Coast near the mouth of the famous Suwannee River.
The river was immortalized in Stephen Foster's classic minstrel song "Old Folks at Home", also known sometimes as "Swanee River" or "Swanee Ribber".
He wrote the song in 1851 although he had never seen the real Suwannee River.
The modern day town of Suwannee is an unincorporated place located about 65 miles west of Gainesville. It has a population of about 300.
It is at the end of SE County Road 349, a lonely two lane road that travels through the country side and crosses through the Yellow Jacket Conservation area and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Much of this land was originally heavily forested with long-leaf pine trees and dotted with wiregrass marshes. The native trees were cut down long ago, but reforestation efforts are under way, especially in the refuges and conservation area.
Suwannee is laced with man made canals that tie into the Suwannee River and provide access to the excellent fishing waters in the river and the nearby Gulf of Mexico. There are many vacation homes along the canals and a fair number of permanent residents.
This area is very popular with kayakers.
There are two marinas in town that serve the needs of the commercial and sport fishermen that love the area. The village also has a post office, church, motel and restaurant.
Because of the environmentally sensitive marsh land that surrounds the settlement, it stands little risk of becoming one of Florida's huge sprawling urban areas in the future.
Suwannee is not far from another interesting little village, Fowler's Bluff, located on the other side of the river. It's only about 10 miles as the crow flies so it's an easy boat trip. By car, on the other hand, it requires a 50 mile trip up the road to Old Town and then down US-98 to Chiefland and then along County Road 345.
If you visit Suwannee and Fowler's Bluff you will be among the few Florida citizens or visitors who ever have. These Old Florida communities are truly on the back roads.
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Southwest Florida Travel Guide is a summary of the contents of FloridaBackroadsTravel.com