Blackwater Maritime Heritage Trail
Maritime heritage trails interpret cultural resources, or historic and archaeological sites, in a way that helps visitors to understand and enjoy them while preserving them for the future. Heritage trails are generally not formal paths but, rather, are a collection of historically and culturally important places.
This trail encompasses several miles of the serene Blackwater River. It does not have a formal start and stop point, allowing you to “begin” wherever you choose. The image below is the first stage of this trail.
Bagdad Mill Site Park
The Bagdad Mill Site Park is located at the union of Pond Creek and Blackwater River in Bagdad, Florida. This 21-acre site is the previous location of the Bagdad Land and Lumber Company Saw Mill which operated from 1835 to 1939. The county has obtained a grant through the Coastal Partnership Initiative Program to fund the design of park facilities.
A Community Based Project to Enhance the Enjoyment and Preservation of Ecological and Historical resources along the Blackwater River
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The project encompasses the waterways of Blackwater River and Blackwater Bay in Santa Rosa County. The trail will extend from Carpenter’s Park, located on Munson Highway in Milton, to Escribano Point, located in the Yellow River Wildlife Management Area.
Choose your Adventure!
Whichever name you may know it by, Fukechattelegge (Creek), Weekasupka (Creek), Rio del Almirante (Spanish), Middle River (British), or Blackwater River (American), this river is home to a rich past that deserves our respect and care as we enjoy it.
Civil War DiscoveryIn 1861 Florida became the third state to join the Confederacy. Santa Rosa County was the most industrialized county in Florida. Early in 1862 Union forces advanced as Confederate forces were called away. To avoid the fall of industrial facilities into enemy hands, Confederate generals ordered the destruction of the facilities.
Explore ShipsThe earliest shipbuilding activity known to have taken place in the area of Bagdad – if not on Bagdad’s Shipyard Point – dates from the period of British Colonial rule in West Florida from 1763 to 1781. In 1767-68, two Welsh brothers, James and Evan Jones, are known to have careened British warships for repairs in what the British called “the Middle River,” the modern-day Blackwater River. At the time, West Florida was in British possession, and Britain was at war with the newly formed United States.
Industry AdventureIndustry in this region is rooted in the colonial period a result of land grants that attracted both Europeans and later, American settlers from the north. Our early founders, such as Forsyth and Simpson, took advantage of abundant natural resources and transformed this frontier landscape into an industrial center.
The Blackwater Maritime Heritage Trail is a community-based project. We are always looking for good people to assist and bring the community together. Contact us to learn more about our voluntary programs and ways you get involved.