Fanning Springs, Florida

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Fanning Springs, Florida

Fanning Springs is the perfect destination for those looking for an adventurous holiday in the Suwannee Valley. Located in Gilchrist County, though in part it goes into Levy, this town of springs and the historic 1836 site of Fort Fanning is perched on a high Suwannee River bluff. The main attraction is the Fanning Springs State Park with its recreational facilities like boating, canoeing, fishing, scuba, swimming, nature trails, and picnicking.

Fanning Springs State Park in the town of Fanning Springs.
Fanning Springs State Park in the town of Fanning Springs. Photo credit, licensed.

About The Community

Fanning Springs is part of the 30-mile Nature Coast Trail is a nature lover’s paradise. The southernmost bridge spanning the Suwannee has been built here. The truly adventurous divers can spend hours searching the remains of the Union gunboat presumably sunk by Confederate firing near the mouth of the spring. Swimming or snorkeling in the spring is a marvelous experience – the water is always at a comfortable temperature. Swimmers can jump from a platform into the deepest part or wade in from the shore or dock.

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The peaceful boardwalk on the Suwannee River. Photo credit, licensed.
The peaceful boardwalk on the Suwannee River. Photo credit, licensed.

Fanning Springs consists of two springs or pools, each with a run discharging to the Suwannee River. People know the larger spring as Fanning; it is about 200 feet wide and 350 feet long. Little Fanning Spring has a nearly horizontal opening into a limestone hillside. This inviting source of cool, clear water has been popular with people from time to time. Manatees sometimes visit the spring during the winter months so tread the waters with care! Open water scuba divers are welcome, but not solo.

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Vicinity of Fanning Springs

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Drive to the park or come on a boat on the Suwannee River. What can be more pleasurable on a hot afternoon than going through the crystal clear waters on a craft of your choice while you angle for bass, bream, cat and perch? Bring your own craft or rent canoes and kayaks at the park. Fanning Springs is perfect to begin or end a Suwannee River canoe journey. It is also centrally located to paddle down river to Manatee Springs State Park or for shorter expeditions.

Pier on the scenic Suwannee River at Manatee Springs State Park in Fanning Springs, Florida, February 2017. Photo credit: Fsendek,, licensed.

Those who prefer dry land can stroll down the nature trail and boardwalk overlooking the spring and river. Hike through an upland mixed hardwood and pine forest. Your feet will squelch leaf mulch while the canopy of leaves of the 60 feet tall trees spreads above you. Be prepared to be joined by the occasional white-tailed deer or gray squirrels and feathered friends like the red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and barred owls.

A moonset over the Suwannee River in north Florida's Fanning Springs. Photo credit, licensed.
A moonset over the Suwannee River in north Florida’s Fanning Springs. Photo credit, licensed.

Enjoy a picnic meal overlooking the spring area or the Suwannee River at the Riverside area at designated picnic areas adjacent to the park. Sport lovers can have a field day indulging in playing football, soccer or with a Frisbee. Primitive camping is available too. Fanning Springs provides plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets and great food as well.

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