The Dixie Mainline Loop
including the Gulf Coast

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This Dixie county Loop includes the main cities of Cross City and Old Town, plus a look at the Gulf Coastline including Suwannee, Shired Island and Horseshoe Beach. One of the big attractions here will be a trip through the Dixie Mainline. The Dixie Mainline Trail parallels the coastline at the northeast edge of the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge. Once a logging access road, much of the trail was inaccessible until the U.S. Wildlife Service recently rebuilt five small bridges across the tidal creeks, opening up areas virtually untouched for a quarter of a century.

Hike, bike or slowly drive (25 m.p.h. maximum) this nine-mile trail north from the community of Suwannee. The trail passes through upland pine forest, hardwood hammock, wetlands and tidal creek environments. Expect special nature and wildlife experiences in this undisturbed environment. Watch for herons, egrets, ibis, barred owls, alligator, turtle, small mammals and a variety of plant life. Along the trail stop at Salt Creek Lookout or turn left at paved CR 357 for access to Fishbone Creek Lookout and Shired Island County Park. An interpretive guide to the Dixie Mainline trail is available from the U.S. Wildlife Service. Stop and pick up a map at the entrance signs.

The nice little fishing community of Horseshoe Beach is at the northwest end of the Mainline.

Shired Island Beach access offers trails through coastal hammock past mudflats and open beach good for everything from wintering shorebirds to songbird migrants making landfall in spring. Dixie Mainline is a 9-mile driving/biking/walking road through pine flatwoods, bottomland hardwoods and marsh. Gorgeous birding, but be aware that hunting use is intense on this area October through November, when biking/ hiking are not advised. Fishbone Creek offers a platform vantage of the salt marsh. Salt Creek has an ADA-accessible boardwalk to the marsh where bald eagles frequently nest. Always something to see here year-round, but be prepared for biting insects in warm weather.

No entrance fees but be prepared for dirt roads between highways 349 and 351 that are well maintained but can be closed in wet weather. The road is very narrow between Hwy. 349 and the Shired Island road where two cars cannot pass so be aware of the many turnoff spots or wide spots and be ready to pull into one of them if you see someone coming. Note: Its worth it! Try to make the trip either very early or late in the day for beautiful sunlight for great photo opportunities and more wildlife.

Please Visit Our Fine Sponsors During Your Visit to the Dixie County area
Suwannee Guides and OutfittersSuwannee RealtyMiller's Marina
Bill's Fish CampPure Water WildernessMy Florida Journey (German)
Hidden Coastlines Magazine

Click on the Points of Interest below

Old TownCross CityHorseshoe Beach
Shired IslandSuwannee

Click Here For an Interactive Map
.loc (waypoints only)      .gpx (waypoints and track)
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