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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Branford to Ichetucknee River Rail Trail (pix) - Florida

A quick report on the rail trail from Branford, FL to Ichetucknee River called the Suwannee River Greenway at Branford . Went today with beautiful weather in the low 70's dipping to the low 60's when the sun dropped out of sight. From the LIttle River Springs trail head just north of Branford to the Ichetucknee River is a little over 12 miles. An easy trip there and back.



I started at the trail head located in Branford because I wanted to park my vehicle at the police station. They gladly obliged. The trail starts out scenic enough along the Suwannee River. Here's a pic behind the Shriners' Building near the Branford trailhead.



Leaving Branford toward Ichetucknee is typical flat Florida landscape.





Once you leave the wooded area and head east toward the Ichetucknee you are traveling along SR 27. Not what one would consider a scenic bicycle tour. I was headed east around 4:30 PM and headed back west after 6 PM with the sun in my face. Both of these pictures were taken on the way back to Branford. The first facing east, the other west.





When I got to the Ichetucknee the south entrance was pretty vacant. Some kayakers was about it. During the summer it's pretty busy. You can't tell it from this picture but the Ichy is crystal clear and a favorite place to swim, tube, etc during the hot months.



I was a bit disappointed with the trail. Not quite as scenic as I had hoped. The big attraction in this part of Florida is the springs and rivers.

There were some smaller county roads that intersected the trail. These looked promising but I did not have the time to explore.

When I returned to Branford I continued north toward Little River Springs but it got too dark so I turned around back to Branford and ate at Nell's Restaurant and Buffet. Fried chicken done like it's supposed to be done (crispy and moist) and fried shrimp. Very good, actually!

Would I do it again? Probably not. The Tallahassee - St. Marks Trail is better and closer.
 

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Thanks for the report. I had seen this listed on the state lists of trails but had not investigated it yet. We kayak out of the south end of the park there in the winter only, since the parking lot is open only to the rafter shuttles most of the year. I guess I'll have to organize some of my friends to bike out of there to Branford soon before the lost closes for the season.

I can't believe how high the water is in the last pic. I haven't seen it that high in years.
 

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It's been over 20 years since I'd been to the Ichy. I thought there was a large sandy beach there but either my memory's poor or it's been changed.

How do you arrange transportation back to the park and where do you end your kayak trips from there?
 

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ichetucknee

As far as I knew, it had grass going down to a soft slippery white colored mud and some exposed limestone rocks. We launch at the area there in your last pic and paddle up to the spring head, walk around up there, and then paddle back. The last few years we had a chili paddle. A few of us would bring various kinds of chili and other food and picnic in the pavillions after the paddle.
 

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The trip up river to the springs take about 1½ hours (if I remember correctly) and then 1 hour back. It depends on how experienced people are, how fast they paddle, and how fast the current is running. We use sea kayaks which are about 14-15 feet long and have rudders. They are pretty fast and easy to steer. A rec boat without rudder and which is wide in the beam would take longer.
 

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Thanks for contacting me. I tried to email you but I am not sure it went through. We rode from Ichy to Branford and then went a few miles more to Little River Falls Springs and cooled our toes. We are trying to figure out the logistics for a picnic ride combined with swimming at the Springs. We were really lucky that the roadside wildflowers were at their peak. It was quite spectacular and made the ride along the road more impresssive. Sorry we missed you.
 
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