An archaeological site in the woods between Milton and Pace – just east of Pensacola off US 90 – Arcadia Mill showcases ongoing work to uncover Florida’s first “modern” industrial complex. The remains of a sawmill, dam, and water works, as well as a textile mill and the railroad that served it are along an interpretive boardwalk about a quarter mile long above seepage bogs flowing into a tributary of the Blackwater River.
Length: 1/4 mile interpretive boardwalk plus at least a mile of trails
Lat-Lon: 30.613434, -87.083652
Type: loop round-trip
Fees / Permits: free
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate
Restroom: there may be a portable toilet on site
From downtown Milton, follow US 90 west for 3 miles to Anna Simpson Rd, just past Pensacola State College. Turn right. Continue 0.6 mile to Mill Pond Road, which leads to the parking area at the historic site.
It’s a short stroll around the boardwalk which circles the archaeological site, but take your time to read the interpretive panels and note the remnants of the complex, which you can see when the vegetation is cut back.
For an actual hike and a bit of fun, take the “paths less traveled” at the T where the boardwalk begins. It leads you down a boardwalk and across a swinging bridge over a swift-moving creek to a scramble on skinny ridges through a forest with a handful of interpretive signs for trees and plants, leading past several more archaeological finds. The trails in this direction ramble off the map, so be sure to carry a GPS.