Railroad heritage and renowned rivers provide opportunities to experience history and nature along the the Suwannee River Greenway at Branford. The greenway is home to a rewarding rail-trail that provides beautiful views of old Florida.
Following a former CSX Railroad corridor, this 12.5-mile paved trail runs from just east of the Suwannee River to the west bank of the Ichetucknee River. Along the way, numerous benches and small covered pavilions beneath a dense tree canopy provide plenty of shady rest stops.
Both trailheads—at Ivey Memorial Park and in Branford—lie in a bend along the western half of the trail. Ivey has the only public restroom and water fountain, so you may want to start your trip here. Consider a visit to Branford’s restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations before hitting the trail.
There is a new section of trail from US Hwy 27, south along CR49 for 2.5 miles to the Santa Fe River at Guy Lemmon Memorial Park
North of town the trail parallels US Highway 129 for about 2.5 miles before it ends. If you continue west just over 1 mile along lightly traveled CR 248, you’ll reach Little River Springs County Park. Cool off with a dip in the springs at this slice of old Florida on the Suwannee.
Heading back toward Branford along the trail, you’ll pass the trailheads before reaching a gopher turtle preserve at the trail midpoint. Be on the lookout for a gopher turtle or two, as well as other small trail critters.
By the time you reach trail’s west end, you may be ready for a relaxing tube ride down the meandering Ichetucknee. Also worth a visit is Ichetucknee Springs State Park, a short drive away.
The Suwannee River marks the trail’s western terminus while the Ichetucknee River is located at the east end. From river to river, the trail is approximately 12 miles. Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Branford Springs are also nearby to enjoy a swim and tube ride. This trail is one you don’t want to miss when visiting the Original Florida. Click here for more information.