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

Program Number: 8116RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/1/2015 - 2/6/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lake City, Florida
Price starting at: $685.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Sport; Walking/Hiking; Water Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Canoe or kayak the dark Suwannee River and the clear, spring-fed waters of the Ichetucknee River on this educational expedition. Hike some of the 28 miles of trails at Big Shoals Public Lands and discover regional folk life as local residents share their food, music, dance and stories. Enjoy an expert-led wildflower walk and woodland picnics, and study the pine and palmetto forests, turpentine camps, Spanish explorers and healing springs that have all left their mark on this region.




Highlights

• Get on the water and on the trails in beautiful Suwanee River country.
• Square dance to the tunes of Florida's state fiddling champion and enjoy the sounds of the world’s largest tubular bells which resonate from the Carillion Tower.
• Feast on local home cooking — from mayhaw jelly to swamp cabbage — at bountiful church suppers.



Activity Particulars

Four to five hours of moderate physical activity each day. Hiking up to five miles. Canoeing up to eight miles, depending on river flow. Canoe/Kayak release required.



This time of year the weather is unpredictable, be ready for hot, cold, wet or dry. Items such as sunscreen or insect spray are sometimes useful.



Coordinated by Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.




Lake City (Florida)

The economic and government center of Columbia County, Lake City - considered the "Gateway to Florida" for the Interstate 75 tourist and trade traffic that runs through it - is home to about 10,000 year-round residents. With a downtown bustling with shops, movie theaters and restaurants, the community offers small-town charm and hospitality.



Accommodations
Lake City motor inn with ground-floor wing.
Meals and Lodgings
   Days Inn, Lake City
  Lake City, FL 5 nights
 Days Inn, Lake City
Type: Hotel
  Description: New, detached ground-floor wing reserved solely for our Road Scholar group during program. Hotel is 12 miles from park activities. Shuttle provided.
  Contact info: US 441 and I-10
Lake City, FL 32096 USA
phone: 386-758-4224
  Room amenities: Microwave, refrigerator, cable, phone, a/c. coffeemaker
  Facility amenities: Continental breakfast in lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: low to moderate rates Reservations may be made for additional nights by calling Days Inn.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: low to moderate rates Reservations may be made for additional nights by calling Days Inn.
  Check out time: 8:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM You will be staying at Days Inn, Lake City that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 PM You will be staying at Days Inn, Lake City the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is plentiful at hotel. Shuttle provided from hotel to all activities.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lake City, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Lake City, FL
  Nearest highway: Interstate 10 and Interstate 75
  Nearest airport:  Jacksonville, FL
  From End of Program
  Location: Lake City, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

 

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 
Driving Directions
  Interstate 10 Stephen Foster State Park is located 9 miles from I-10. Days Inn is located at the intersection of I-10 and US 441 near Lake City. From I-10, take the US 441 South Exit. Hotel is located one-fourth mile on the right. Students choosing RV discount option must contact the program administrator at (386) 397-2733 to ensure campground availability before registering for the session. The program administrator must make the camping reservation on your behalf. The discount will be deducted through tuition paid to Road Scholar. The campground is located at the park in White Springs. From I-10, take Exit 301 and turn left onto US 41 North. Travel about 9 miles to park entrance on the left. The park is located on US 41 about 30 minutes' drive south of the Georgia border; one hour north of Gainesville, FL.
  Interstate 75 Stephen Foster State Park is located 3 miles from I-75, about 30 miles south of the Georgia border and 60 miles north of Gainesville, FL. Days Inn is located at the intersection of I-10 and US 441. From I-75, take I-10 East toward Jacksonville. Go about 2 miles and take US 441 South. Hotel is one-fourth mile on the right. Students choosing RV discount option must contact the program administrator at (386) 397-2733 to ensure campground availability before registering for the session. The program administrator must make the camping reservation on your behalf. The discount will be deducted through tuition paid to Road Scholar. The campground is located at the park in White Springs. From I-75 take Exit 439 and travel 3 miles east on Hwy 136 to White Springs. Turn left on US 41 North and park entrance is located about 1/4 mile on the left. The park is located on US 41 about 30 minutes' drive south of the Georgia border; one hour north of Gainesville, FL.
Equipment Requirements: Comfortable shoes needed. Hat or sunscreen and rain gear may be needed. Inspect repellent may be useful for later dates. Lightweight binoculars are nice to have along hiking and canoeing trips. Swimsuit for a short swim in the spring if desired. A light jacket (windbreaker) is suggested for the canoe trips.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival / Welcome Dinner / Orientation
(Sunday, February 22)
   
 Arrive To: Check-in to the Days Inn beginning at 3 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner at Nelly Bly's Kitchen in Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.
 Evening: Welcome, orientation and introductions
   
Accommodations: Days Inn, Lake City
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lecture on Turpentining / Lecture on Suwannee Valley Folklife and Folklore / Guided Nature Walk / Local Music Performance
(Monday, February 23)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in hotel lobby. Juice, muffins, fruit, cereal, toast, coffee.
 Morning: Lecture and demonstration on turpentining, an important early industry in the region. Collector talks about the tools and methods developed through trail and error to extract gum from the Florida's pine forests. Lecture on the Suwannee Valley Folklife and Folklore. Local resident folklorist tells stories of the early days in a humorous way.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at Big Shoals Public Lands
 Afternoon: Guided nature walk along the Suwannee River with Park Staff Gary Erixton who can identify most of the plant and animal life in the area as well as tree and plant identification.
 Dinner: Enjoy a local specialty, a chicken pileau dinner, cooked by members of the local community. This is a chicken and rice dish served with side dishes and a desert.
 Evening: Local band with a variety of music and dance.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn, Lake City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to Ichetucknee Springs State Park / Canoe and Kayaking Trip down Ichetucknee River / Lecture on Growing Up in White Springs
(Tuesday, February 24)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in hotel lobby.
 Morning: We'll travel by van to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. We'll take a short hike to see the sapphire-blue, first-magnitude headspring called "Blue Hole" and talk about the pressures of development in the Ichetucknee Springs River Basin. There is usually time to tour the "short trail" of Ichetucknee Park before lunch. This trail is approximately 1/2 mile long and touches on several milestones related to the development of the area. Another option for the less active is to visit with your friends until lunch is served. If you dare to brave the cold, you can take a short swim in the spring.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on Ichetucknee River
 Afternoon: After lunch, board our canoes and kayaks for a trip down this amazing, crystal clear river.
 Dinner: Potluck/covered dish dinner in local church with regional foods.
 Evening: Local speaker discusses growing up in White Springs, Florida during the 1940s-1960s.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn, Lake City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Historical Reenactors / Visit to Museum and Carillion Tower at Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park / Free Time / Fiddling Performance
(Wednesday, February 25)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in hotel lobby.
 Morning: Join us as we go "BackinTyme" with Florida's Storytellers and historian as they don period dress to perform stories and songs of the 19th Century. Then we'll tour the Museum and Carillon Tower at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own anywhere within a 100-mile radius as you enjoy a free afternoon.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon. Take the self-guided walking tour of White Springs, see the revival antebellum architecture of the park, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon close by.

Travel south to Gainesville to visit world-class botanical gardens, natural history museum, art museum, the University of Florida (now known as Gator Nation) or enjoy the big-city shopping mall.

Travel east to Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, site of Florida's largest Civil War battle and located within Osceola National Forest where you'll see colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Travel southwest to the Gulf to beautiful Cedar Key or the fishing village of Steinhatchee where Roy's serves up the best seafood in Florida!

For a less ambitious tour, remain in Lake City where you can visit the local history museum and stroll through downtown shops and antique stores.
 Dinner: Catered dinner at the park.
 Evening: We offer two options for tonight. Music performed by Fiddling champions. Or grab a table with your Road Scholar friends to share stories and get to know one another a little more.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn, Lake City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Potluck Food Demonstration and Tasting / Canoe and Kayaking Trip on the Suwannee River / White Springs' History and Gospel Singing
(Thursday, February 26)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in hotel lobby.
 Morning: Folklife of the Suwannee River: Potluck food demonstration and tasting, anything from Mayhaw jelly making and Tasting to Biscuit or pie making. Subject matter will range from farming to working in the fields and orchards to ancestry roots. Jams and Jellies will be available for purchase.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on Suwannee River
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll travel to the canoe launch nearby to begin our trip on the Suwannee River. We'll complete our trip on the Suwannee, exploring the dark tannic water, high limestone cliffs, and maybe spotting a gator or otter!
 Dinner: Dinner at local church.
 Evening: A local resident will share some of White Springs' history and then we'll enjoy traditional Gospel Singing as often heard in the Bible Belt.
   
Accommodations: Days Inn, Lake City
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Swamp Cabbage Demonstration / Optional Hands-On Activities / Lunch / Departure
(Friday, February 27)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in hotel lobby.
 Morning: The morning begins with a demonstration on identifying, preparing and cooking swamp cabbage. Then we'll divide into small classes where you'll have time to try your hand at making a pine needle basket, palmetto weaving, blacksmithing, home canning, or a quilting demonstration.
 Lunch: Lunch at the park will be a north Florida "cracker" style meal, with fried catfish, hushpuppies, swamp cabbage, grits and cole slaw.
 Afternoon: Program ends around 1 PM, after lunch.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Those Were the Days


Author: Virginia John Daniel and John Council "Buddy" Camp


Description: Journey through time of the treasured memories of White Springs with those who have lived through the changes of history.





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