Southern Lady Magazine

See The South: Celebrate Fall at Your Own Pace in Santa Rosa County, Florida

What color comes to mind when you think of Florida? It might be a sun-bright orange, emerald waters or the plastic pink of a flamingo. There’s a subtler Florida palette each fall, though, as leaves and sunsets brighten Historic Milton and the surrounding Blackwater River State Forest.

A (lot of) river runs through it dating back to the mid-1800s, Historic Milton’s blocks of Greek Revival, Victorian and Craftsman homes grew from its prime location on the Blackwater River. Once important for shipbuilding and trade, the Blackwater and other area waterways are now known more for recreation—by kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle board. Outfitters offer rentals, tours and accommodations.


Flying colors For a faster-paced tour of fall, our outfitters can also hook you up—literally—with a treetop zip-line excursion. There’s no way to get closer to the foliage than these zip tours, which also offer aerial views of those rivers and sandbars.


On your mark Historic Milton is surrounded by Blackwater River State Forest, and the whole area is connected with a network of trails for biking, hiking, horseback, running—there are even special areas for ATVs. Explore on your own, with a group, or check our calendar of events for races.

Whatever your preferred speed for leisure and adventure, there’s always a great place to stop and call it a night. In addition to national hotel brands, you’ll find well-appointed modernist “tree houses,” historic suites in a renovated schoolhouse and a range of camping sites from rustic to refined: luxury tents with oriental rugs, refrigerators—even a piano.