Historic Russ House Visitors Center, Marianna
Jackson County was established in 1822 as Florida's third county. Friendly small towns include Marianna, Sneads, Grand Ridge, and Alford. Historic Marianna is known for southern hospitality, ecotourism, and the state's only cave tours at Florida Caverns State Park. Marianna is steeped with history including a Civil War battle fought within the town limits. Florida's governor during the Civil War, John Milton, is buried in the Episcopal church cemetery. The streets are lined with antebellum homes, large oak trees and friendly people.
Stop by the Russ House Visitor's Center, located on the corner of Lafayette Street and US 90, to learn more about the area's attractions including the Spanish Heritage Trail and Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail.
Paddling Chipola River
Canoe, kayak and paddle board enthusiasts love to explore some of Florida's most beautiful paddling trails in Jackson County. Paddle the new Upper Chipola River Paddling Trail, a site on the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail. View wildlife, catch tasty fish, and discover the natural bridge where Andrew Jackson crossed at Florida Caverns State Park. The original Chipola River Paddling Trail begins below Florida Caverns State Park at SR 166 (Yancey) Bridge and flows 51 miles to it's designated end at Scotts Ferry on SR 71.
Jackson County offers boaters, anglers and paddlers crystal clear, spring-fed Merritt's Mill Pond and the delightful cypress-ringed Ocheesee Pond.
Merrits Mill Pond
Explore Florida Caverns State Park
Things to Do in Jackson County
Blue Springs Recreational Area
Battle of Marianna tour
Florida Caverns State Park
Paddle or tube Chipola River, Spring Creek, Ocheesee Pond, Merritt's Mill Pond
Ski Compass Lake, Round Lake
Fish Lake Seminole
Tour the historic Russ House
Blue Springs Recreation Area
Upper Chipola River
Paddling Trail Celebration
Florida's 51st Designated Paddling Trail
The Florida Office of Greenways & Trails joined Jackson
County officials in celebrating the Upper Chipola River Paddling Trail as the
latest addition to the Florida's Greenways
& Trails System. Local and state officials gathered riverside on
Friday, December 12th at Christoff Landing near Marianna. As part of the ceremony, representatives from
the Florida Paddling Trails
Association recognized Jackson County as an official “Blueways Community.”
Afterwards, paddlers experienced the new trail by paddling to Florida
Caverns State Park.
“Recognition of this new paddling trail will expand
recreation opportunities and boost the local economy,” said Donald Forgione,
Director of the Florida Park
Service. “This is a highly scenic trail of clear springs and shady canopies
that is sure to be popular.”
As Florida's 51st designated paddling trail, this
upper portion of the Chipola River begins at Christoff Landing, managed by the Northwest Florida Water
Management District. A convenient primitive group campground is
nearby. Home to abundant wildlife and
excellent fishing, the river meanders about 4.5 miles through floodplain
forests, past crystal-clear springs, and ends at the boat ramp within Florida
Caverns State Park. Log jams in the
river have been adequately cleared by Jackson County officials to allow small
fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks to safely navigate the waters. It may also be possible (depending on water
levels and downed trees), to paddle upstream to the historic Bellamy Bridge, the scene of colorful
Jackson County is home to a wealth
of excellent boating, fishing, and paddling waterways within a region of great
biodiversity and outstanding wildlife habitat.