William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway Management Council
The William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway – State Road 13 (SR13) – winds its way along the St. Johns River through pine and palmetto barrens, oak hammocks and swamps, often canopied with trees.
It stretches from the Julington Creek Bridge at the St. Johns County line south for about 17 miles to Ward’s Creek. The roadway is in the northeast part of the state, south of Jacksonville. Wide trails parallel the highway from one end to the other, and numerous parks and cultural destinations along the corridor are accessible and welcoming for modern nature-lovers.
This byway tells the story of the first Indian inhabitants of the region, the European pioneers, and plantation owners, and renowned naturalist William Bartram, who attempted to establish a plantation on the banks of the St. Johns River.
Bartram wrote the first “tour guide” to Florida in the late 1700s. His book Travels details his experiences journeying through and documenting the southeastern U.S. in the 1760s. The poetic writing and stunning illustrations of Travels captivated readers imaginations across Europe, and helped introduce the world to the charms of Florida.
Florida Scenic Highways are often referred to as “byways.” One of the main requirements of scenic byway designation is that it show one or more of six key intrinsic qualities: Historic, Archaeological, Scenic, Cultural, Natural, and Recreational. Learn more about the Florida Scenic Highway program at http://floridascenichighways.com/