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Mention Florida and sunshine and sandy beaches come to mind but the north end of Santa Rosa County is far from a hidden treasure, it’s a destination hot spot. Here are some of the attractions:

Blackwater River State Park

From prehistoric yellow pine forests to a prospering industrial mill to Civil War devastation, the Blackwater River State Park is a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Visitors can drift down the Blackwater River in a canoe, kayak or tube, camp along the river or Coldwater and Sweetwater creeks, and hike forest trails, including the historic Jackson Red Ground Trail, a nearly 23-mile segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail which travels one of the earliest Indian and settler trade routes. That trail is named for Gen. Andrew Jackson, who marched troops along the trail on a trip from Apalachicola to Pensacola in 1818. For more information about Blackwater River State Park, visit

Historic Milton

But the north end of Santa Rosa County is far from a hidden treasure, it’s a destination hot spot. Visitors can experience outdoor adventure by visiting the Blackwater River State Park, travel back in time at the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site and enjoy dining, shopping and family fun in historic downtown Milton. One of the best parts about a trip to Milton is the wonderful mix of small-town feel and Florida beauty. Admire blocks of charming homes and storefronts that lead to the beautiful Blackwater River waterfront. Stroll through the Santa Rosa County Veterans Memorial Plaza. Go full-steam ahead and learn about old rail travel in our renovated depot. You’ll enjoy every minute of exploring this walkable town. If you’re looking for a place with classic Florida charm, look no further than Historic Milton.

Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site

Set among the pine forests of Santa Rosa County, the 42-acre property will take you through 200 years of history. Between 1817 and 1855, the mill site developed into a multi-faceted operation that included a sawmill, a lumber mill with planing and lathing machines, the Arcadia Pail Factory, a shingle mill, textile mill, an experimental silk operation, and one of the first railroads chartered in territorial Florida. Arcadia also included a thriving industrial village of mixed ethnicity including enslaved African Americans, Anglo-American laborers, and Anglo-American owners and managers. The site’s historical significance extends beyond its antebellum roots including a few small Civil War skirmishes, the Arcadia Farms period during the late 19th to early 20th century, the Great Depression, and the historic preservation movement that protected the site during the 1960s. Visit Arcadia Mill to explore and enhance your local educational experience beyond UWF campus borders. Learn more at

City of Milton

The City of Milton is home to the county seat of Santa Rosa County. Milton is among the oldest cities in Florida, incorporated in 1844 under the Florida Territorial Acts of 1844. In founding days, the Blackwater River served as the main transportation artery for timber, lumber, brick, naval stores and ship building industries. Milton roots go back to the early 1800s when people began settling along the banks of the river. In its earliest days, the settlement may have been referred to simply as Blackwater. The origin of the name Milton is uncertain, but was likely a derivation of Milltown, demonstrating the importance of the lumber industry in the area. Legend has it that the area was also referred to by one of its most irritating features: the brambles and briars that once grew along the banks of the river. Hence, in early days Milton was referred to as Scratch Ankle. Visitors can enjoy the Milton Riverwalk located in the historic district of downtown Milton. Learn more about the historic city of Milton at

Adventures Unlimited

Adventures Unlimited is a popular attraction for families, honeymooners, friends and many more. The campground boasts a Zip Adventures Canopy Tour, where adventure seekers can soar through the treetops of Northwest Florida and over Coldwater Creek on nearly a mile of zip lines, some as high as 65 feet in the air. At Adventures Unlimited, you have the opportunity to experience canoeing unlike anywhere in the world. The spring-fed rivers flow at an average depth of 2 to 3 feet (some places are 6 feet deep or deeper) over a soft, sandy bottom through a pristine state forest. White sand beaches dot the banks, which are perfect for swimming, sunning and picnicking. Adventures Unlimited also has nearly 100 acres on its Wilderness Resort location campgrounds for groups and individuals, a catering facility, group retreat cabins (which holds up to 70 people), private cabins, a playground, a nature trail, sports fields and a volleyball court. Call 850-623-6197 or visit to plan your next getaway.