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Santa Fe River (Florida) facts for kids

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Santa Fe
Santa Fe River High Springs east03.jpg
Santa Fe River, north of High Springs
Santa Fe River Drainage Basin
Country United States
State Florida
Cities Keystone Heights, Branford
Physical characteristics
Main source Lake Santa Fe
Keystone Heights, Florida
River mouth Suwannee River
Branford, Florida
Length 75 mi (121 km)
Basin features
Basin size 1,380 sq mi (3,600 km2)

The Santa Fe River is a 75-mile (121 km) river in northern Florida. The watershed of the river is approximately 1,380 square miles (3,574 km2) and spreads across southern Columbia, southern Suwannee, western Bradford, far southern Baker, Union, northern and eastern Gilchrist, and northern Alachua counties. The headwaters of the river are Lake Santa Fe, near Keystone Heights. The Santa Fe River is usually a slow-flowing river. This slow speed, combined with the abundant leaf-drop from nearby trees, especially Bald Cypress, leads to a very dark-brown river due to dissolved tannins.

The Santa Fe River is typical of many rivers in karst regions in that it completely disappears underground and then reappears 5 kilometres (3 mi) downstream. The river drops into a large sinkhole in O'Leno State Park and reappears in the adjacent River Rise Preserve State Park. The land over the underground section of the river, referred to as a natural bridge, was used for the main route of the Spanish mission trail and the Bellamy Road to avoid a water crossing of the Santa Fe River.

Springs like Gilchrist Blue, Ginnie, Hornsby, Lily, Poe, and Rum Island springs are located at the banks of the river, mostly downstream of the river's reappearance above ground level. The water temperature near the numerous springs is always around 72 °F (22 °C). The area is sparsely populated compared to the rest of Florida, there have been sightings of animals like the black bear, bobcat, the rare Florida panther and due to the near-constant water temperatures along many portions of the river, manatees. As with many rivers in Florida, plant and animal fossil remnants are plentiful along the Santa Fe.

The tributaries of the Santa Fe include the New River, Olustee Creek, and the Ichetucknee River, another spring-fed river. The Santa Fe empties into the Suwannee River near Branford, Florida.

The river derives its name from a Franciscan mission named Santa Fé de Toloca formerly located near the river.

List of crossings

Crossing Carries Image Location Coordinates
Headwaters (Santa Fe Lake) Waldo 29°26′33″N 82°02′35″W / 29.44248°N 82.04311°W / 29.44248; -82.04311
Culvert CR 1471 jct.svg County Road 1471 29°49′55″N 82°08′16″W / 29.831823°N 82.137833°W / 29.831823; -82.137833
Wildwood Subdivision
29°50′00″N 82°08′56″W / 29.833462°N 82.149002°W / 29.833462; -82.149002
260107, 260108 US 301 Hampton 29°50′22″N 82°09′49″W / 29.839430°N 82.163572°W / 29.839430; -82.163572
Unnamed Road 29°50′44″N 82°12′21″W / 29.845497°N 82.205842°W / 29.845497; -82.205842
CR 225 jct.svg N County Road 225 29°50′47″N 82°13′10″W / 29.846297°N 82.219421°W / 29.846297; -82.219421
SW 136th Avenue Brooker 29°50′50″N 82°15′50″W / 29.847093°N 82.263991°W / 29.847093; -82.263991
260025 SR 235 29°52′44″N 82°20′10″W / 29.878799°N 82.336211°W / 29.878799; -82.336211
260032 CR 1493 jct.svg County Road 1493 29°52′53″N 82°23′05″W / 29.881297°N 82.384824°W / 29.881297; -82.384824
Confluence with New River Worthington Springs 29°55′24″N 82°25′07″W / 29.923204°N 82.418574°W / 29.923204; -82.418574
260111 SR 121 Alachua-Union FL Santa Fe River east02.jpg 29°55′19″N 82°25′35″W / 29.921824°N 82.426330°W / 29.921824; -82.426330
260086 CR 241 jct.svg SW County Road 241 29°56′34″N 82°30′24″W / 29.942729°N 82.506794°W / 29.942729; -82.506794
290086, 290087 I-75 High Springs 29°55′36″N 82°33′32″W / 29.926593°N 82.558769°W / 29.926593; -82.558769
260112 US 41 / US 441 Santa Fe River High Springs west02.jpg 29°51′11″N 82°36′30″W / 29.853014°N 82.608462°W / 29.853014; -82.608462
260006 US 27 US-27 Santa Fe River.jpg 29°50′34″N 82°37′50″W / 29.842745°N 82.630659°W / 29.842745; -82.630659
310007 SR 47 FL47 bridge over Santa Fe River, Santa Fe River Park 2.JPG Fort White 29°51′54″N 82°44′24″W / 29.865017°N 82.740092°W / 29.865017; -82.740092
confluence with Ichetucknee River 29°55′56″N 82°48′01″W / 29.932325°N 82.800262°W / 29.932325; -82.800262
310005 US 129 Branford 29°54′42″N 82°51′36″W / 29.911679°N 82.860095°W / 29.911679; -82.860095
Mouth (Suwannee River) 29°53′14″N 82°52′46″W / 29.887257°N 82.879563°W / 29.887257; -82.879563
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Santa Fe River (Florida) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.