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Suwannee River Adventure: Canoeing, Kayaking, Hiking and Folklore in Florida

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Road Scholar
Program #8116RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
John from Asheville, NC Number of programs attended: 22
Date attended: 02/22/15 - 02/27/15

Ellen from Hendersonville, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/08/15 - 03/13/15
A Nice experience of learning about life in Northern Florida. Left with a nice feeling regarding the community life, food and culture. The river paddles were varied from crystal clear to blackish water.

Nancy from Kresgeville, PA Number of programs attended: 48
Date attended: 03/08/15 - 03/13/15
A first rate program combining active canoe or kayak time for beginners or skilled participants with delightful exposure to the folk culture of Northern Florida. Fine educational content and excellent local food (your stomach will groan by day three ...).

Harry from Burke, VA Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 02/22/15 - 02/27/15
Great trip with a good mix of activities: hiking (really just 2.5 mile or so nature walks), kayaking (one very easy 3 mile, one less-easy 7 mile both down-stream), and presentations on local life, music, crafts, and Steven Foster. Dinners all home-cooked by volunteers and served at Park Center or local churches (a black Baptist and a white Methodist) so an opportunity to meet and mingle with the locals. Everybody was extremely friendly. Florida State Park Rangers were directly involved in the transport and outdoor activities. Food included regional specialties, including catfish, pork products, grits, swamp cabbage, biscuits and gravy, and local jams, jellies, etc. Trip was not particularly strenuous other than one longer kayak trip and is more due an "Active" rating. Motel was comfortable. Transportation to Park Center was in 9 pax vans which was fine as nothing was more than about 30 minutes away, although there was a lot of back and forth from Lake City to the Park Center. There was no opportunity for pre-dinner drinks and socializing, but one could BYOB to the Park Center but not the churches! The weather during this week was a bit chilly but at least no rain interfered with outdoor fun. This trip really was a glimpse of the "Real Florida" and the town of White Springs, where the Steven Foster Center is, did not seem to have changed much in the past 100 years. There is no way to get to Lake City other than by car. You know you are in the deep south when you see lots and lots of live oaks and Spanish moss. I recommend this program to those who are reasonably fit and interested in Florida history/culture and cuisine and wish to learn more about Steven Foster, America's first professional song writer, who made the Suwannee River famous by using it in one song since the name rhymed right. This was probably the best-value RS trip I have been on. Leadership was excellent. There were 18 in my group, which worked very well.

Julia from Norfolk, VA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 02/22/15 - 02/27/15
The entire town of White Springs, Fl made us feel welcome. We spent a week learning about the history of this beautiful place from the locals, and kayaked interesting rivers. The music was moving, and the food delicious. Probably more "active" rather than "moderately challenging".

Martha from Wood Dale, IL Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 02/23/14 - 02/28/14
Excellent program. Everyone involved was unfailingly welcoming, good humored, knowledgeable, patient, etc. I felt such a sense of community among these people...and it was a lot of fun!

Linda from Venice, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/23/14 - 02/28/14
I went mainly to kayak the Ichetucknee and the Suwannee, and I did - two very different rivers. The first was crystal clear and spring fed with ribbons of eel grass, a few manatees, and a school of fish. If such existed in the Suwannee, it would be impossible to see, for the river, while very clean, is a dark tannin river. The rides were easy - simply steer as you drift downstream in the river's flow. There was also a not to be missed chance to swim in the spring. But the program held so much more. Stephen Foster State Park is a hidden gem with wonderful facilities, programs, and opportunities to soak up the culture and atmosphere of the area. The programs, talks, demonstrations, entertainment, staff, and chances to meet local citizens were outstanding. White Springs is a simple small town, unspoiled by urban sprawl where blacks and whites live in harmony. We ate the delicious foods of the region (I put on 4 pounds in 5 days, so be careful!) But my advice is just - GO! Go; you will not be disappointed.

Marie from Montgomery, AL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/24/14
Marie U. from Montgomery, AL. My camera broke so I missed an opportunity for great photos.....could anyone send photos of the Jan. program to mhupdike@hotmail.com? Program offered river adventures on canoe and kayak, as well as hiking along the Suwannee River. Presenters from surrounding communities and park rangers are experienced presenters at giving their interesting workshops, all the while maintaining their roots in the local culture and folklore. I enjoyed participating in this active program.

Mary from Edgar, NE Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/24/14
This program offered such a wide variety of activities that there was something for everyone. We learned about the culture of the area through activities, music, crafts, and lecture. The meals were excellent and we especially enjoyed the meals provided by the churches. The program coordinators were knowledgeable of the history and folklore of the area and made the program fun. We would highly recommend this program.

Thomas from Lawrenceville, GA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/24/14
This was an active program and a fun-filled week. The program celebrates the culture and folkways of North Florida – and centers around the small town of White Springs and the nearby Stephen Foster State Park. We had two kayaking trips on two local rivers (you don’t have to be experienced to enjoy this) and two short hikes in the parks. We enjoyed sessions on quilting, local history, jelly making, swamp cabbage, water conservation, blacksmithing, herbs, turpentine, and Stephen Foster the composer. Twice during the week we were hosted by local churches for “pot luck suppers” (which were terrific) and three nights included local music (country, bluegrass and gospel). This program had the widest variety of activities of any I have attended and it was apparent that the program leaders had put a lot of energy into the planning, organization and execution of the week. I enjoyed the fact that the educational sessions took so many different forms (lecture, show and tell, hands-on, music) and so much was packed into each day – plus not a lot of time spent in transit from point A to point B. I recommend this program.

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"Listening to a wonderful family history" Uploaded By: Julia

"In the blacksmith shop" Uploaded By: Julia

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"Preparing swamp cabbage" Uploaded By: Julia

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"Three old navy guys after kayaking" Uploaded By: Thomas

"One of the crafts was blacksmithing" Uploaded By: Thomas

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"And on the the Ichetucknee" Uploaded By: Corydon

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5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners


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