City Profile: Jasper

For an educational adventure steeped in history and nature, try this city in Hamilton County.

Jasper, located along scenic route 41 in north central Florida, is cradled by the Suwannee River to the east and south, the Withlacoochee River to the west and the Alapaha, or River of Sand, running north and south through the county. Jasper is the seat of Hamilton County, known as the Central Gateway of Florida. Here, visitors will enjoy a pristine side of Florida rich in local heritage. If you are a fan of either nature or history, there is plenty to see and do here.

The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center, located in nearby White Springs, will fill both bills. This park, nestled in the midst of towering pines and moss draped oaks on the banks of the Suwannee River, offers a picturesque setting for exhibits and special events. The heritage and culture of Florida come alive through folk art, crafts and performing arts. The Old Hamilton County Jail in Jasper is also worth a stop. Built in 1893, the jail is now a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This museum provides a glimpse into the early history of north central Florida and its rural farming communities.

Outdoor recreational opportunities readily enjoyed throughout the region. Camping, hiking, bicycling and canoeing are par for the course in Jasper and surrounding areas. The outdoor enthusiast will be delighted to view wildlife in its native habitat, while everyone who visits will surely enjoy driving along roadways that are carpeted on both sides by fields of seasonal wildflowers.

Jasper visitors are fortunate to enjoy a peaceful and relaxed quality of life that is enhanced by its rural surroundings. And for variety, the beaches of Jacksonville or the museums of Tallahassee are but a 90-minute drive away.

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