With more than 382,000 acres of rolling hills covered in stately pines and mixed hardwood forests and 16,000 acres of pristine water, Washington County is home to some of the best outdoor recreation in the state. From outdoor adventures to simple relaxation, locals and visitors alike can take in the area’s scenic beauty while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, including boating, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, camping, birdwatching, horseback riding, swimming and more.
Boasting the largest wolf preserve in the Southeast, Seacrest Wolf Preserve calls rural Washington County home. The preserve includes three species of wolf: Gray, British Columbian and Arctic. Visitors are offered a rare up close and personal encounter inside the fenced enclosures. Washington County is also home to another unique wildlife adventure: Orange Hill Gator Farm. This facility not only offers educational tours of the baby gator house and adult enclosures, you can interact and learn about other reptiles both native and invasive to Florida. The state’s tallest waterfall can also be found here at Falling Waters State Park. The falls drop an impressive 73ft before being swallowed by a 100ft cylindrical limestone sinkhole. If you are not into wolves and waterfalls, we have plenty of water to keep you satisfied.
Located in Vernon, Holmes Creek is fed by dozens of springs and is a favorite for diving and snorkeling. Cypress Spring is the largest, a second-magnitude spring. You can contact one of the three liveries, guide service and paddleboard company that service this waterway to book your adventure. Econfina Creek features 11 springs with 36 vents and wildlife spotted along its shores. Please call Econfina Creek Canoe Livery to check for availability. The Choctawhatchee River Paddling Trail is a state trail that stretches 64 miles. You never know, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive, believed-to-be-extinct ivory-billed woodpecker that is rumored to still glide through the cypress tree pockets of the river or the federally threatened Gulf Sturgeon. If water is not your cup of tea either, the county also has a rich heritage and culture to explore.
Washington County is home to the Washington County Heritage GeoTrail that includes 32 historic sites throughout the county, or you can visit one of our two historic museums located in Chipley and Vernon to learn about places such as the possum monument (yes, I said possum), Moss Hill Church, one of the oldest surviving church buildings in the state, or Chipley’s South Third Street Historic District that includes some of the best examples of Queen Anne Victorian style architecture in the state of Florida. Swing by the Spanish Trail Playhouse to see a production by one of the state’s only remaining all-volunteer community theatres.
The communities also include historic downtowns with unique shopping and dining opportunities, off-road parks, an 18-hole golf course, country wedding venues and year-round heritage festivals and special events. You are sure to find a little bit of everything in Washington County.