Sing it now: “Way down upon the Suwannee River, far, far away…” Yes, that is where we ended our day on Monday, at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park (click here to read our review and view more photos). Though Stephen Foster never set foot in Florida and never saw the Suwannee River, he made it famous throughout the country, and the State of Florida appreciated it. “Old Folks At Home” is Florida’s State Song, and this park is Florida’s memorial to its author.
Spring is about to pop here. The earliest azaleas are in bloom, along with a couple of small dogwoods. And I LOVE the Spanish moss spilling off the trees.
This beautiful park has something for everyone: hiking, biking, canoeing on the river, a Stephen Foster Museum, a carillon tower that chimes on the hour and plays Foster songs for 15 minutes four times a day. For us, the draw (besides being on our route to Savannah) was the extensive network of trails.
As soon as we arrived and set up, we took off walking, past the museum and carillon tower, through the gift shop, and on to the banks of the river. The park brochure describes the Suwannee as a “typical blackwater stream”, and black it is, stained by tannins from the cypress trees growing in the river. “Stream” threw me – to a westerner, it’s a nice-sized river.
The dark, fast waters of the Suwannee River
Tannins stain the water the color of dark tea.
Too bad we don’t have more time to spend here but, after another hike this morning, we are moving on to Georgia for a three day stay in St. Mary (just across the Florida border). Further exploration of Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park and its adjacent historic town will be another entry on the “next time” list! Georgia, here we come.