15 Best Things to Do in Mayo, FL

Mayo, FL
Peter Titmuss / shutterstock.com

Sitting roughly two miles south of the Suwannee River is the small town of Mayo, Florida.

As one of the tiniest villages in Florida, Mayo embodies quintessential small-town America.

Mayo is the seat of Lafayette County, located roughly midway between Gainesville and Tallahassee.

It has a population of about 1,000.

The town has two top-notch restaurants, a nearby grocery store, and at least one worthwhile antique or collector store.

Prepare for your trip with this list of the best things to do in Mayo, Florida.

Explore the Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail

Nature trail at Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail
William Silver / Shutterstock.com

The Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail is one of the top attractions in Mayo.

This beautiful state park is along the Suwanee River, perhaps Florida's most well-known river.

Likewise, the Suwannee's relative "wildness" distinguishes it as a natural marvel.

The trail begins at White Springs and travels 171 miles along the river before reaching the Gulf of Mexico.

Eight "hubs," primarily state parks and towns, serve as the system's focal points and provide trail users with various amenities.

You can find a few tiny towns with populations barely over 1,000 surrounding its waters and the 235-mile Trail.

Outside these tiny towns, there are hardly any houses or buildings.

For instance, you can travel for kilometers in certain sections without encountering any traces of civilization.

Stay overnight in hotels and inns in the hub towns of White Springs, Fanning Springs, and Suwannee.

The state has built "river camps" to accommodate paddlers in more isolated riverside locations on the Trail.

You can only reach these camps through the river.

Prepare for the hike of your life at the Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail.

Explore the Wonders of the Green Sink Trail

The half-mile-long Green Sink Trail offers visitors a quick adventure through the sinkholes and shaded hammock of Lafayette Blue Springs State Park.

There are many natural ecosystems in this region of North Florida, most of which are upland mingled oak, hickory, and maple forests.

You will see diverse plant and animal species within a few 100 feet of your peaceful walk through the woods.

If you're lucky, you might spot a stealthy beaver or notice their teeth marks at the bases of several trees.

A series of sinkholes flanked by towering cypress trees is arguably its most remarkable feature.

These sinkholes are proof of the active karst geologic formation.

Craters and caverns riddle the limestone under much of Florida, causing the phenomenon.

Explore nature at the Green Sink Trail.

Get Fit and Healthy at the Country Strong Gym

The Country Strong Gym is a state-of-the-art fitness facility that offers many amenities to help you achieve your fitness goals.

The gym features top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment, group exercise classes, personal training, and knowledgeable and friendly staff.

The Country Strong Gym is more than just a place to work out.

It's also a community where you can make lasting friendships and reach your fitness goals.

If you need Lipo B shots, Country Strong Gym has a partner to provide you with the best possible service.

Get expert help on your fitness journey at Country Strong Gym, which has everything you need to get in and stay in shape.

Whether a Mayo local or just visiting, the Country Strong Gym is the perfect place to get fit and have fun.

Take a Dip at the Lafayette Blue Springs State Park

Scenic view of Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
Paul Clark, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park is a Mayo must-see for swimming enthusiasts and those who want to cool off on a hot day.

You can rest at the picnic area, a favorite place for parties and family reunions which contains tables, grills, and two pavilions.

People go great distances to swim, explore, and unwind on the banks of this undiscovered gem.

The 72-degree water from Lafayette Blue Spring travels just a few hundred feet to reach the Suwannee River, with streamflow varying from 14 million to an astonishing 168 million gallons.

Lafayette Blue Springs State Park is home to one of Florida's 33 1st springs, which boasts a vast cave network traversed by a natural limestone bridge.

A spectacular example of the karst limestone structures found all over the place is the natural land bridge made of limestone that splits the water.

The Green Sink cave system, a vast underwater cave network, benefits from this karst.

It has over 12,000 feet of cave passages stretching west and southwest from the main spring.

Stay at the Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort & Campground

The Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort & Campground offers accommodations to fit your needs.

The 40-acre Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort & Campground offers lodging to campers, whether they stay for a short time or a long time.

The Lower Rendezvous offers primitive tent sites with only water and electricity.

They also have FHU 30-amp locations for campers no longer than 25 feet.

Likewise, you can go to the Upper Rendezvous, famous as the R.V. Resort, which has FHU 50-amp sites with cable and Wi-Fi.

The Annual Spring Hoppin' Paddlin' Poker Run also occurs here.

Besides the campgrounds, Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort & Campground also houses Convict Spring.

This spring is a freshwater spring in the campground that feeds the Suwannee River.

Whether you're looking for a getaway or an adventure, the Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort & Campground has something for everyone.

Step Back in Time at Le Chateau De Lafayette

Front view of Le Chateau De Lafayette
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Meander your way through time at Le Chateau De Lafeyette, a replica of a 17th-century French chateau in Mayo.

The 1883 House was the Lafayette County Courthouse from 1883 to 1907.

In 1907, they turned it into a private residence and apartment building.

The current owner bought it in 1993, and carefully and meticulously renovated it.

Today, the mansion provides pleasant lodging as a bed and breakfast.

The three-story house provides a serene, timeless atmosphere.

You can enjoy the fresh air and the magnificent sunset from your rocking chair on the wraparound porch.

Le Chateau De Lafeyette is a Mayo landmark that you should not miss.

Check into Cindy's Motel & RV Park

Due to its proximity to state parks, hunting, and fishing grounds, Cindy's Motel & RV Park is a fantastic place to stay for any occasion.

Cindy's Motel & RV Park sits on 3.5 acres of lush forest, complete with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.

More than 50 years have passed since Cindy's Motel & RV Park first opened.

The ideal location to experience nature is its nine-room motel, with 14 sites for R.V.s and gorgeous live oaks.

Cindy's Motel & RV Park is a premium motel for all of your lodging needs, conveniently situated just off Highway 27,

Enjoy the region's magnificent beauty at this motel and RV park.

Go Kayak Camping at the Dowling Park River Camp

You can visit Dowling Park River Camp on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, an introduction to kayak and canoe camping.

Paddle a short distance with your guide from the River Camp in Lafayette County to Dowling Park Boat Ramp in Suwannee County.

After that, you'll pitch camp, sign in with the camp host, and paddle upstream for another mile.

You will use Dowling Park River Camp as a base camp while enjoying a private adventure on the Suwannee River.

Since the boat ramp sits immediately across the river, you can easily go back if you forget something or things don't work out as planned.

Explore the Steinhatchee Springs Wildlife Management Area

The Steinhatchee Springs Wildlife Management Area covers 20,909 acres of wetlands, cypress marshes, sparse vegetation hammocks, and pines surrounding the Steinhatchee River.

The upper portions of Mallory Swamp in Lafayette County feed the 28-mile-long river, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Suwannee River Water Management District owns and runs the Steinhatchee Springs Wildlife Management Area.

This place opens to the general public all year from sunrise to sunset.

Try hunting, wildlife watching, horseback riding, hiking, and biking at the Steinhatchee Springs Wildlife Management Area.

You might also spot white-tailed deer, bobcats, and various permanent and migrating birds.

Find your way around by looking for the brown public river access signs.

Explore the Outdoors at Veteran's Memorial Park of Mayo

Gazebo at Veteran's Memorial Park in Mayo
Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Veteran's Memorial Park in Mayo is a big park featuring a band pavilion, picnic shelters, and a playground for kids.

It also has picnic tables scattered across the park and public restrooms.

Take a tour of a vintage Cracker House, with several ancient oak trees for shade on the property.

There are also basketball courts; the town also holds events in the park twice a year.

Stone plaque at Veteran's Memorial Park in Mayo
Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 3.7-acre Veteran's Memorial Park is an excellent location for a quick break, a stroll, or maybe even a fast run before work.

The Veteran's Memorial Park of Mayo is the perfect place to bring the family for some fun in the sun.

Enjoy Camping at the Hidden Oaks R.V. & Campground

Hidden Oaks R.V. & Campground is an excellent place to camp if you're looking for a peaceful, quiet spot in the woods.

The Hidden Oaks RV & Campground is a three-acre park with 30-amp and 50-amp connections.

Several enormous imposing live oak trees offer plenty of shade.

Located just outside Mayo's borders, this place is s so quiet you'll believe you're in the middle of the woods.

Check out this place if you want a quiet, pleasant vacation with various amenities.

Enjoy picnic tables, a fire ring, grills, and a laundry area.

You can also bring pets to the campground.

Hike and Bike at the Troy Springs Wildlife Management Area

East Lafayette County's Troy Springs Wildlife Management Area is along the Middle Suwannee River.

Its almost 2,000 acres cover three parcels, most of which are forests in alluvial plains adjacent to the river.

The Troy Springs Wildlife Management Area is open to the public for hiking, animal viewing, wildlife watching, horseback riding, and fishing.

Every day, the preserve releases more than 65 million gallons of water from the nearby Troy Springs to the Suwanee River.

You can hunt for smaller animals at the Troy Springs Wildlife Management Area.

With some luck, you can see white-tailed deer, turkeys, eastern cottontail rabbits, gopher tortoises, and red-shouldered hawks.

The Suwannee River also offers many boating, paddling, and fishing options.

Ride a Horse at the R.O. Ranch Equestrian Park

R.O. Ranch Equestrian Park in North Florida is midway between Mayo and Steinhatchee.

This park is a magnificent 2500-acre equestrian park in Live Oak, about 11 minutes from Mayo.

Riders travel through trails of pine forests, lowlands, and wetlands on Ranch Equestrian Park's well-groomed trails.

During your rides, you can expect an excellent view of picturesque "old Florida."

Although many bikers like to "camp" in R.V.s, some prefer more basic camping.

The R.O. Equestrian Ranch Park offers both.

Likewise, camping areas also include horse stalls and access to showers and facilities.

The less adventurous can stay in two lodges.

Both the Morgan Field Bunkhouse and the Jim Panther Lodge contain three bedrooms.

They can accommodate six people and have complete kitchens.

Other Things to Do Nearby

There are other attractions and activities to enjoy near Mayo.

Hike the Troy Spring Nature Trail

The Troy Spring Nature Trail is a 0.8-mile trail and a beautiful introduction to the habitats along the Suwannee River's cliffs.

The Trail offers hikers the opportunity to see a variety of plant and animal life.

When you get out of your car at Troy Spring State Park, you'll see strange-looking benches that hang scuba gear and hydraulic pumps.

This park sits around Troy Springs, which features diving and swimming near the Suwannee River's main flow.

Directly across the parking lot from the diver processing area, you'll see a hiker sign marking the beginning of the nature trail's counterclockwise loop.

The Troy Spring Nature Trail is also a great place to take in the views of the Suwannee River and the surrounding area.

You can find it in Branford, Florida, 16 minutes from Mayo.

Roam the Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park

Scenic view of Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wes Skiles Peacock Spring State Park is a hidden Florida gem in Live Oak, Florida, nine minutes from Mayo.

It features azure seas and intricate routes that form an explorer's magical world.

Renamed in memory of the late renowned adventurer, diver, and photographer Wes Skiles, the place features six sinkholes and two large springs.

Water at Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cave divers from all over the world explore nearly 33,000 feet of mapped underwater tunnels.

Divers can dive in open water or caves in teams and with qualified divers.

Owl at Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the summer, you may cool down in the run beneath century-old cypress trees and splash around in the two springs.

The Dive Outpost, a top-notch dive shop, can assist you in finding a companion if you require one.

Beat the heat at the Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park.

Final Thoughts

Mayo is a historic town with many things to offer visitors.

Plenty of activities keep you busy, from exploring the state parks and wildlife management areas to horseback riding and diving.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Mayo, Florida!

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