Gilchrist County Florida is the youngest county in the state, and one of the smallest in population. Lying inland, Gilchrist County is well-known for its land sport and relaxation opportunities as well as its lush, natural beauty. Long considered a prime getaway from the hustle and bustle of the larger metropolitan areas in Florida, Gilchrist County is an area left virtually untouched by the tourist boom that has helped to transform many other parts of the state.
The county is bordered by the Santa Fe River at its northern extreme, a natural wonder in that it runs underwater for a time before reappearing above ground three miles away and merging with the Suwannee River. The Suwannee itself meanders gracefully, curving its way to forming Gilchrist County’s western border. These rivers are dotted with the Hart, Ginnie and Blue Springs, many of them accessible by long boardwalks that stretch along the Suwannee River’s length. Fishing and wildlife opportunities abound in this area.
One of only two established towns in Gilchrist County, Bell has a population of only 350 people. The town was made moderately famous by its participation in the “swamp Shooters” competition, an event that saw former Gator football players compete in basketball games. The town is also famous for its southern dining opportunities. Akin’s BBQ, a nationally noted diner offering southern cuisine, is one of Bell’s largest draws.
Trenton, a small city of just over 1,600 people, is the seat of Gilchrist County. With historic draws such as the Old Trenton Train Depot and natural wonders like Manatee State Park, Trenton is a favorite of residents and visitors alike. A quaint downtown core offers exotic dining and a wide range of shopping opportunities, and the city’s accommodations are never far from the center of activity.
Fanning Springs sits directly on the banks of the Suwannee River and is famous for its boating and fishing opportunities. Many of the photographs seen online of the Suwannee River come from this area. With almost 200 fresh water rivers feeding the Suwannee as it stretches through central Florida to Georgia, river depths can reach up to 55 feet. The river is teeming with bass and perch and fisherman travel from all over the United States and the world to try their luck on one of the most beautiful and natural waterways in the world.
One of the smallest established towns in Florida, Rock Bluff offers more of the same in the way of Suwannee River related activities in combination with the climbing possibilities on the many rocky walls that surround the town. Horseback riding is a favorite past time here and visitors often come to simply ride the endless paths and trails around the town.
Timothy Tyson has spent most of 2007 in his car driving around the state of Florida. Find out more about Gilchrist County Florida by visiting his website.