Known as Florida’s Canoe Capital thanks to the rivers and creeks of Blackwater River State Forest, Milton is a major destination for outdoor recreation. Santa Rosa County, of which Milton is the county seat, is well known statewide for its hiking, bicycling, and paddling trails.

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  • Wiregrass Trail rimmed with sand along the Blackwater River Tates Hell and Blackwater – for military use? (12/11/2013) - We’ve been alerted to an effort by Eglin Air Force Base to reach out and utilize public lands in Northwest Florida for “robust training” exercises. The affected public lands are Tates Hell State Forest in Carrabelle, home to the Kendrick Boardwalk and the High Bluff Coastal Trail, and Blackwater River State Forest in Milton, which the […]
  • Busy swimming hole at Blackwater River State Park Camping at Blackwater River State Park (4/24/2013) - While at the Panhandle Trace Hike we camped at Blackwater River State Park. We didn’t know in advance that this particular state park campground is designed for RVs, trailers, and other folks who don’t camp in tents. After months and months of camping in the woods, it was quite a shock to our way of […]
  • YRR-PT Two sides of the Yellow River (4/23/2013) - Going inside the Harold Store for breakfast, we realized we should have warned then we were coming. This was our rendezvous point for Day Five of the Panhandle Trace Hike, and after yesterday, everyone was hungry.  The Harold Store is the only store around for miles, so when a group of hungry hikers swarms your […]
  • 2013-04-Hutton-117 Hiking the Hills of Hutton (4/21/2013) - With our switcheroo on the previous day – skipping the burned zone of the Jackson Trail to walk the Juniper Creek Trail back to the campground – Day Four of the Panhandle Trace Hike had us headed northbound for the first time on this trek. Peggy had hikers going in all directions and for different […]
  • Harold-Store The Harold Store (4/18/2013) - Back in camp on Day 3 of the Panhandle Trace Hike, we met up with Gail and Sally. Since we had to move Primrose to our next campsite – and we had to kill time, since someone was still occupying it – we a took detour to the Harold Store. En route I realized that […]
  • burn-Blackwater-Gordy-Gail-Baldwin Through Smoke and Fire on the Jackson Red Ground Trail (4/17/2013) - Day 3 of the Panhandle Trace Hike, McVay Road to Red Rock Road Trail Head Guest post by Gordy Hawkins, Suncoast Chapter FTA. Photos by Gail Baldwin. Enter into a world of black and white and the continuum of grays in-between. That is what it was like for me the day we walked a recently […]
  • 2013-03-Juniper-Creek-114 Following the Juniper Creek Trail (4/16/2013) - Day 3 of the Panhandle Trace Hike Yesterday, while being shuttled back to camp, we drove through an area that was still burning. The forest was black and charred, filled with thick smoke. As we drove past, we watched for small flames still brightly burning. Our first thought was why would the forest service do […]
  • Wiregrass Trail rimmed with sand along the Blackwater River In the Land of Tall Pines (4/15/2013) - Day Two of the Panhandle Trace Hike started off where we’d left the trail the day before, at Kennedy Bridge. After we dropped off our cars at the end point for the hike, McVay Road, Peggy, Helen, and other members of the Western Gate Chapter shuttled us to the starting point. We asked how long […]
  • Purple flower pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) Finding Pitcher plants in Santa Rosa County (4/12/2013) - In mid-April, the pitcher plants of Santa Rosa County are at their peak of bloom. During the 2013 Panhandle Trace Hike, we went in search of them and here's what we found.
  • BR-Primrose Converging on the Panhandle Trace (4/11/2013) - With two hikes behind us, we drove toward west to join the Panhandle Trace Hike. Knowing that after ten years of leading this event long-time Florida Trail Association activity leader Peggy Grantham would be retiring, Sandy wanted to participate this year and fill in a few new spots on the Florida Trail map. We arrived […]
  • FT Wiregrass On the 2013 Panhandle Trace Hike (4/4/2013) - It was a delight this year – Peggy Grantham’s last as hike leader – to join the Panhandle Trace and get to know the far northern reaches of the Florida Trail. It’s been 11 years since I hiked through Blackwater River State Forest and while some things remain the same, others certainly have changed. I […]
  • Suwannee River in flood stage Flood gauges for Northwest Florida (3/2/2013) - When the North Florida and the Florida Panhandle experience severe flooding along major rivers and their tributaries, add in icy temperatures and it’s a recipe for hypothermia for hiking on trails that parallel or cross river and stream basins. These issues affect the Florida Trail along the entire length of the Suwannee River, as well […]
  • Peggy G and Peppie Trail Angel Peggy (2/3/2013) - Trail Angel Peggy runs shuttles at the western end of the Florida Trail and guided, supported hikes on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Busy swimming hole at Blackwater River State Park Cool down in the Blackwater River (7/29/2009) - Enjoy a cool dip in the Blackwater River at Blackwater River State Park near Milton. The Florida Trail runs right through the park, crossing Deaton Bridge, but your best access to the least-busy broad sandy beach on a river bend is along the Chain of Lakes Trail, an interpretive trail that follows old oxbows left […]