Recreation & Tourism

Recreation & Tourism

Canoeing
The Department of Environmental Protection lists two county rivers that are part of the Florida Canoe Trails.

Aucilla River: The Aucilla has swift current, shoals and man-made dams that make this a trail for experienced canoeists. The river is not navigable to the Gulf; it flows into sinkholes underground, and re-emerges several times before being joined by the Wacissa at Nutall Rise for its flow to the Gulf of Mexico. The dark, coffee-colored waters of the Aucilla River swiftly course over shoals and remains of two old rock dams. They make the trail a challenge, especially in low water, but they can be portaged. High limestone banks frame the trail, and the river flows through cypress-gum swamp. This river is not recommended for inexperienced canoeists. Rapids become more numerous and hazardous in low water. Wildlife you may see include river otter, hawks and a variety of wading birds.

Mileage:

19

Skill Level:

Intermediate to technical

Difficulty:

Moderate to strenuous

Usual Current:

Swift (3+ mph)


Wacissa River:
Sparkling spring waters are part of the charm of this pristine north Florida river. The Wacissa River is a clear, spring-fed stream. Wildlife is abundant along this narrow, fairly swift trail. Warbles can be heard singing in the trees, and wading birds can be seen searching for food. There are numerous tributaries, some of which loop back to the main channel, and some of which melt away into the swamp which skirts the stream. Dense jungle-like woodlands border the river. The lower section of the river from Goose Pasture to the entrance to the canal can be hard to follow. Stay on the right side of the river after the Goose Pasture access. After about one mile, look for the canal to the far right. The entrance is hidden by willow trees. The trail ends several hundred yards upstream on the Aucilla River at Nutall Rise Landing, after canoeing through the canal.

Mileage:

14

Skill Level:

Beginner

Difficulty:

Easy

Usual Current:

Average (2-3 mph)

Bicycling
The Florida Sierra Club in its manual, Adventuring in Florida, recommends one of Florida's major bicycle routes -- the 100-mile Canopy Roads. The route loops east in Jefferson County from its western trailheads in Tallahassee. A beguiling route over rolling hill country through stately oaks and wildflowers, the 30-mile section, called the Tallahassee Hills, passes Wacissa Springs and goes north to Wacissa Tower, the site of the old Spanish Missions of San Francisco de Oconi and La Conception de Ayubale. It passes through Monticello with its 27-block historic district with a number of properties in the National Register of Historic Places.

Hunting
Hunting is a popular outdoor sport for Jefferson County residents and visitors. Wild turkey, quail, wild hogs, deer and other game are plentiful. Private plantations are scattered across the northern region of the county. They provide recreational opportunities as well as green space and water recharge sites. The Aucilla Wildlife Management Area and commercial timber lands dominate the southern portion of the county. Wildlife may be observed in the St. Marks wildlife Refuge along the Gulf coast. Contact the Tax Collector's office for hunting and fishing licenses as well as information about seasons, limits and other restrictions especially the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area Regulations Summary and Area Map. The Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission regulates hunting and fishing within the state. Get a copy of their Hunting Handbook Regulations Summary and their Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary from the Tax Collector's office, The Florida Marine Patrol enforces marine restrictions along the Gulf coast.

Parimutuel Betting - Greyhound Racing
JCKC, the Jefferson County Kennel Club, is located between Monticello and the Georgia state line on US 19. Greyhound racing and parimutuel betting have been a part of the Jefferson County economy and the region's entertainment for 25 years. JCKC offers year-round racing on Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays for evening races, beginning at 7:30. Saturday matinees begin at 1:30 pm. The facilities include dining at the Turf Club.

Watermelon Festival - A Slice of the Good Life
Residents and visitors celebrate the county's traditional agricultural heritage thorough the annual Watermelon Festival. At one time, farmers in Jefferson County produced and processed over 80% of the watermelon seed sold nationally. The seed processing industry is a thing of the past, but fresh market watermelons are still grown, with harvest coming in time to ship the fruit to eastern U.S. markets just in time for 4th of July picnics. The Watermelon Festival is held during the peak of the melon season.  Whether you buy or sell craft items, run in 5 kilometer foot races or just cheer for those who do, play in the marching band or sit on the shady side of the street and watch the parade go by, the Festival offers traditional small-town, mid-summer fun. From rodeo to barbeque to seed-spitting contests, the festival is a family event. Join us for "A Slice of the Good Life" in Jefferson County. A few weeks after the festival, Jefferson County celebrates Independence Day, July 4, with fireworks from W.O. Bullock Pyrotechnics at the recreation park.

Bed and Breakfast, Lodging
Whether you visit Jefferson County for its rich cultural and historic heritage or to enjoy outdoor the sporting life that our beautiful natural endowment affords, you'll find guest services second to none at four turn-of-the -century Bed and Breakfast homes. Contact the innkeepers within an easy walk of the historic district of Monticello at:

The Avera-Clarke House

850-997-5007

The Cottage

850-342-3541

1872 John Denham House

850-997-4568

Traditional motel accommodations are available at:

Quality Inn

850-997-0020

Super 8 Motel

850-997-8888

Days Inn

850-997-5988

Jefferson County Government