The abundance of forests, fields, rivers, and springs offer many opportunities for sports and recreation in Jefferson County. Hike our wooded trails as part of the state-wide 1,400 mile-long Florida National Scenic Trail that passes through the very southern tip of Jefferson County and follows along the Aucilla River. Bike tours are very popular in Jefferson County with miles of scenic country roads shaded by Live Oaks and forests. The Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center welcomes youth groups for events that promote appreciation for the outdoors. Birding enthusiasts will delight in the many acres of protected conservation areas found in Jefferson County. St. Marks Wildlife Refuge toward the coast is part of the extensive Florida Birding Trail.
Thousands of acres at local plantations and parks offer many seasonal hunting expeditions. Hunting on these plantations is usually done on horseback or in the comfort of one of the horse-drawn hunting hacks. Jefferson County offers some of the best hunting for quail, deer, dove and wild turkey. Each January the internationally-recognized Continental Field Trial Championships are held at Dixie Plantation. This is part of the bird dog field trial competition’s Triple Crown, so to speak, and brings bird dogs and their hopeful owners and trainers from far and wide. Lake Miccosukee is a popular spot for duck hunting and seasonal fishing.
Jefferson County’s rivers and springs attract recreational fisherman from around the state. The Aucilla and Wacissa Rivers pass through the 42.532-acre Aucilla Wildlife Management Area. Many camps and rustic resorts provide accommodations and boating services for Lake Miccosukee, the St. Marks River, and the Wacissa River. Canoeing and boating are very popular along the Aucilla River that runs from the Georgia border all the way to the Gulf on the east border of the county.
Beyond the woodlands, the County provides recreation for many sports. Golf, a popular sport in Florida, is enjoyed at the Jefferson Country Club near downtown Monticello. Regional karting enthusiasts rev the engines at the Monticello Karting and Race Club which hosted the Easykart Grand Finals 2009.
If you want to quickly step back into history, visit the Cotton Trail on The Old Magnolia Rd. It is still there trailing from eastern Leon into Jefferson County. It still has a historic look and feel. The red clay road is cut deeply into the banks by decades of travel by foot and wagons, not by bull-dozers. In some places, the road is significantly below the banks. Magnificent ancient trees have claimed their place in the sun by stretching their limbs across the ancient pathway in arched canopy displays.
DIRECTIONS: Take the Route 90 East Exit from I-10 and head toward Monticello. Just beyond eight miles from the exit, turn left onto Old Magnolia Road. (On your right is a turn onto Route 59.)
Monticello Ecological Park
Orvis Wingshooting Schools -Mays Pond
Boots Thomas Veterans Memorial
Jefferson County Recreation Park
Letchworth Mounds Archaeological State Park
Wacissa Springs Park