The Old Spanish Trail in Florida
The Old Spanish Trail revives a historic 1920s tourist road.
In the 1920s, an ambitious transcontinental road project linked St. Augustine and San Diego. Called the Old Spanish Trail, Route 90 provided Jazz Age motorists easy access to the gracious towns strung along the interior of northwest Florida and beyond.
Contemporary travelers tracing this historic tourist road can still experience those same small town charms and breathtaking recreational sites. In Milton, a immaculately preserved riverfront town dubbed the "Canoe Capital of Florida," visitors can explore seven miles of that original brick-paved Old Spanish Trail. The trail connects to hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails in the Blackwater River State Forest, the largest forest in Florida.
Other Route 90 highlights include taking a dip in the cool, clear Fountain of Youth waters at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, hiking past a butterfly garden to Florida's highest waterfalls at Falling Waters State Park and viewing the limestone formations at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna.
The restored downtowns of Crestview, Chipley, DeFuniak Springs and Marianna all brim with antique shops, frilly Victorian homes and inviting cafes, the latter offering everything from oyster bars to soul food.
Anyone with an inner cowboy (or cowgirl) can get a taste of the Old West at the rustic western boutiques in Bonifay, which hosts the annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo.