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 above seepage bogs flowing into a tributary of the Blackwater River.
Length: 3/4 mile interpretive boardwalk plus at least a mile of natural surface trails
Trailhead: 30.613434, -87.083652
Address: 5709 Mill Pond Lane Milton, FL 32583
Fees / Permits: Hiking is free. There is a fee to visit the new museum complex.
Restroom: On site
Land Manager: University of West Florida Historic Trust
Open 10-4 Tue-Sun, a new thousand-square-foot Visitor’s Center and Museum has opened near the top of the hill. It includes interpretation of artifacts and history from the Arcadia Mill Complex, a children’s area, and a bookstore.
Admission prices range from $3 to $6 depending on age and/or various memberships. UWF Historic Trust members enjoy admission included with their membership.
All trails and other outdoor activities remain free.
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 accessible boardwalk which circles the archaeological site.
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 bridge over a swift-moving creek to a scramble on skinny ridges through a forest.
There are 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.
See our slideshow of hiking at Arcadia Mill