Established in 1929 along a rail line built down the Gulf Coast to facilitate logging its old-growth cypress forests, Chiefland is a small city which regional residents visit for shopping and dining. It is the southern terminus of the Nature Coast Trail, a bike path extending into two neighboring counties, terminating at Trenton and Cross City.
While Chiefland has long been known for timbering and farming, public lands define its western edge along the Suwannee River basin. It is a gateway to many major springs, with Manatee Springs being the nearest and most popular destination. Some of Florida’s largest trees are along the river basin in Andrews Wildlife Management Area. Between Chiefland and Cedar Key, Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge has both trails and camping.
As it is along the lightly populated Nature Coast, dark skies draw stargazers and astronomers to the privately-owned Chiefland Astronomy Village for clear views after dark.
Not so busy thanks to their locations on the lower Suwannee River, this series of four major springs provide another 3-day weekend getaway option for active outdoor recreation in Florida