You expected to learn about culture, arts, political stuff when you decided to check us out.  But, what you may not have realized is how active a community we are.  Not only do we have award winning neighborhood parks, trails, events, we also have the great outdoors, being surrounded so to speak by both state and national forests.  They are worth visiting.  The Florida Trail wanders through much of our forest land, and the Florida Trail Association is a good steward for our land.  Check out our local chapter at  Go to the events, activities links, and  take a hike through the forest with them.  You  do not have to be a member to participate in their events.

We are proud to be living in an area that forms the heart of a great national treasure, the most environmentally sensitive natural area in the entire nation involves our forests.  You can find the largest longleaf pine forest remaining in the world, cypress swamps, wetlands, all giving you refuge from the stresses of every day life.

Our forested areas knew the Creek and Seminole warriors, along with the conquistadors who camped along our rivers.  As we settled the area, industry such as logging and pulp and paper milling, turpentining, dimished our natural woodland. Our largest forest is the Apalachicola National Forest, created in 1936 as part of the New Deal. The U. S. Forest Service rehabilitated the land, and restored the forest to much of its original beauty and splendor. 

Tate's Hell State forest is located between the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Rivers.  It borders the SW boundary of the Apalachicola National Forest and covers 202,437 acres.  It was referred to as the Great Swamp many years ago, and in the early 1950's attempts were made to drain the swamp in order to grow trees.  Because draining the land would have seriously affected the marine condition of the bay and its estuaries, the land was purchased to help protect the resources of east bay.  70 % of the forest is classified as either wet prairie or wet flatwoods.  The natural vegetation of the swamp functions as a filter for water entering the river and East Bay.  There are stands of cypress wetlands that are over 150 years.  For more information go to the Dep't. of Forestry website:

Apalachicola Forest extends for miles across our landscape..  It is a national forest, and was one of the forests created by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the WPA  during the Great Depression.  Roads, trails, buildings, bridges built during that time are still in use.  The Florida Trail Association works closely with the Forestry Dept. to maintain trails, and boardwalks.  The Florida Trail goes through a great deal of the Apalachicola Forest as it travels to Pensacola or the Everglades. Although the forest is interwoven with dirt roads, there are no towns or amenities for the length of the 77 miles of Florida Trail.  You become immersed in a wilderness of ever-changing wonders.  Rolling sandhills, longleaf pine, wiregrass, high bluffs, ravines, wet flatwoods, loblolly pines greet you.  Bradwell Bay Wilderness is one of the most majestic and wild places in Florida.  Entirely roadless, covering more than 24,000 acres of hardwood swamp.  It involves miles of deep wading.  After that the trail passes the historic Langston Homestead, then the steephead ravines, a savanna of longleaf with titiswamps and stands of pitcher plants, and orchids.  Come and enjoy!  Best site for further information besides the Dept of Forestry is www.floridatrail/apalachee

An annual event is held the end of February each year in conjunction with Keep Tallahassee Beautiful.  Volunteers gather at designated locations, and cleanup illegal waste dumping in the Apalachicola National Forest.  There will be tires, shingles, construction debris, and just plain junk hauled off.  These items are dropped at what are referred to by foresters as "hot spots", by people unwilling to take them to the designated dump.  Most of the items require a charge for disposal, which some people may not want to pay.  Watch the local paper for announcements or email the founder/organizer at  [email protected]

Web sites to help you gain more information include:,  Web site for the USDA Forest Service,  and  where you can find recreational opportunities on federal lands.