Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | March 27, 2011

Florida Wonders: The Fiercest, The Highest and the Oldest

As our time in the White Springs area draws to a close, we decided to get out and see some of the area’s attractions before we move down to Cedar Key in just about a week.

So, last Thursday, we packed a picnic lunch, picked up new workamper friends, Tom and Joan, and headed out on a quest for three sites on Florida’s “most famous” list: The fiercest white water rapids, the highest waterfall, and the oldest church.

New workamper friends, Tom and Joan

Luckily for us, all three can be found in a relatively short radius from the campground.

First on the list was Big Shoals State Park, located just outside the town of White Springs.

After parking the truck, we hiked and chatted along the wooded trail to the area on the Suwannee River where the rapids are located.

It was a beautiful spring/summer day, and the views of the dark brown river through the trees was spectacular.

Big Shoals through the tress

The rapids were audible long before we could see them, and even though the river level was down, the water still rushed and churned and foamed as it moved across the rocks and ledges at the rapids site.

When the water level on the river is between 59 and 61 feet above sea level ~ generally in the spring after drenching rains ~ these rapids earn a Class III Whitewater classification, and offer a challenge to canoers and kayakers.

This day, we saw only one canoe on the river, and the couple with the canoe had ported it past the rapids ~ which would have been my choice, but Keith would have preferred the challenge of the white water.

Barbara with Keith in macho mode at Big Shoals

After spending some time on the sandy Suwannee beach, watching the rapids, we hiked back to the truck and took a little drive to the site of the tallest waterfall in Florida, located at Falling Creek Falls Park.

Falling Creek runs into the Suwannee River downstream from Big Shoals, and the creek has the same dark water, stained brown by the tannin from leaves.

There were a couple of picnic tables near the entrance of the trail to the falls, so we sat down for a wonderful picnic lunch of chicken salad, egg salad, fresh tomatoes, fruit, vegetables and ice cold beer.

Our bodies refreshed and rejuvenated, we walked the short boardwalk to the falls…famous for being the highest waterfall in the state of Florida ~ a mere 10-15 ft. drop ~ but in a state that is essentially one flat beach, it doesn’t take much to earn such a ranking!

Falling Creek Falls

The area in which the falls is located, was also one of the original settlements in the area.

A wagon train from South Carolina arrived here in the 1850’s and started a small community complete with a church, which you will find just down the road.

Falling Creek Chapel began as a Baptist house of worship in 1855, but it is currently a non-denominational chapel.

The original log building was replaced with the existing structure in the 1880’s, and services are still held regularly in this simple house of worship.

Falling Creek Chapel

The chapel was designed with two entry doors, as men and women entered ~ and worshiped ~ on separate sides of the church, in its early days.

Our goals for the day now accomplished, we climbed back into the truck and headed back to camp for an evening of relaxing, and contemplating the “wonders” of this great state!



  1. I love to travel and I really enjoy reading your blog very much. Thanks for sharing this post. Feel free to check out our website.

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    • Glad you enjoy the blog…it’s a labor of love!

  2. Have you added this to your book? You should. (I’m going to keep encouraging you!)

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