The Gilchrist County Blueway
A 55 mile recreational corridor that defines and protects the rural quality of life in Gilchrist County.
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The goal of the Gilchrist Blueway is to provide sustainable recreational opportunities that also encourages stewardship and the protection of natural resources of Gilchrist County.
Topping the Blueway’s list of natural treasures are the 50+ crystal clear springs (many unnamed) lining its banks. Every day, nearly half a billion gallons of pure, 72-degree Fahrenheit water flows from these beautiful natural fountains. Many are hubs for recreation where people come to swim, drift in tubs and picnic on their banks, Paddlers spend idyllic days “Spring hopping” down the river. For wildlife, these springs are invaluable. Ecologists consider them the most diverse, freshwater habitats in the world, where over 300 species of vertebrates (including nearly 50 species of fish) live in waving meadows of submerged vegetation.
Paddlers on the Gilchrist Blueway embark upon a journey through history, seeing some places that are relatively unchanged from the prehistoric era, others that have evolved into the 21st century. Traveling soundlessly thru two dramatically different river venues that are connected by common wetland ecology, paddlers are granted the privilege of being a part of the unique geo-hydrological system of the Santa Fe/Suwannee rivers basin. And, of course, in addition to savoring history and learning about the flora and fauna, paddlers can also enjoy many different nature and water oriented recreational activities during the journey.
Whether paddling the entire 55-mile trail as a single journey, or smaller segments over time, the Blueway is a corridor that defines rural Gilchrist County. It’s also where visitors may “refresh their spirit in a place away from the crowds that encompasses the beauty of living off the beaten path.” Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers.