Bradford County, founded in 1858 is an area situated in the Northeastern region of Florida. The county was originally named the New River County in 1858 but was later renamed Bradford in 1861 after Captain Richard Bradford, who played a major role in the U.S Civil War. The county seat of Bradford is Starke, which is also its largest city, and the total population is about 28,000 people, as of 2019.
While most of Bradford County consists of farms and trailer homes that are scattered across the three cities of Hampton, Lawtey, and Starke in the county, it is still home to some of the most beautiful and eye-catching lake reserves and hiking trails in Florida.
The Palatka-To-Lake Trail is one of the top hiking trails in Bradford County, which is also home to different species of wildlife that can be observed across the trail. Crosby Lake and Hampton Lake are two other must-visit places in Bradford, providing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and boating. The Starke City Recreation is the most-visited park in Bradford County, offering fun and entertainment for all ages.
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Bradford County has a lot to offer for one to live in, it has a stunning exhibition of lake reserves, hiking trails, and recreational parks that attracts many tourists across the world. It is no less than a dream come true to settle in Bradford in the modern-day and age. You might just find the property of your dreams in Bradford, MortgageQuote.com aims to make your life easy. We are a mortgage broker that may connect you to mortgage loan providers that might lend in Bradford County, enabling you to hopefully select a mortgage loan program for your housing needs.
Discover the Hidden Gems of Bradford County, Florida: A Local's Guide
Welcome to the enchanting world of Bradford County, Florida! Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State, this hidden gem offers a wealth of opportunities for both nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. From picturesque parks and pristine lakes to charming small towns, Bradford County is a captivating destination waiting to be explored.
In this local's guide, we'll take you on a journey through the very best that Bradford County has to offer. Unearth the secrets of its stunning natural landscapes, where sun-dappled trails wind through ancient forests and where shimmering waters beckon you for a leisurely swim.
But it's not just the great outdoors that make Bradford County special. Delve into its rich history and discover the stories that have shaped this vibrant community. From the architectural wonders of downtown Starke to the fascinating heritage of the Florida State Prison, you'll find a tapestry of tales waiting to be unraveled.
Whether you're seeking adventure or tranquility, Bradford County is sure to exceed your expectations. Join us as we reveal the hidden gems that make this corner of Florida an unforgettable destination.
Natural attractions in Bradford County
Bradford County is blessed with a diverse array of natural attractions that will leave you in awe of its beauty. Start your adventure at the Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife Management Area, where sun-dappled trails wind through ancient forests and lush wetlands. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this untouched wilderness as you spot a variety of bird species and maybe even catch a glimpse of elusive wildlife. The area also offers excellent fishing opportunities, so don't forget to pack your rod and reel.
If you're a fan of water activities, the crystal-clear lakes of Bradford County are a paradise for boating, swimming, and kayaking. Sampson Lake is a popular destination for anglers, with its abundant bass and crappie populations. For a more leisurely experience, head to Lake Crosby and enjoy a peaceful picnic by the water's edge. The serene atmosphere and stunning views are sure to rejuvenate your soul.
Historic landmarks and cultural sites
Delve into the rich history of Bradford County and discover the stories that have shaped this vibrant community. Start your exploration in downtown Starke, where architectural wonders from a bygone era stand proudly. Take a stroll along Call Street and admire the historic buildings that have been lovingly preserved. From the iconic Bradford County Courthouse to the charming storefronts, each structure tells a tale of the county's past.
No visit to Bradford County is complete without a visit to the Florida State Prison, which has a fascinating and often dark history. Take a guided tour and learn about the prison's role in shaping the state's penal system. The museum located on-site provides a deeper understanding of the institution's past and offers a glimpse into the lives of both inmates and staff.
Outdoor activities and recreation
Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities to enjoy in Bradford County. With its extensive network of trails, the county is a haven for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. The Lake Butler State Trail, a former railroad corridor, stretches for 2.8 miles and offers a scenic path through the heart of Bradford County's countryside. Enjoy the fresh air and stunning vistas as you explore this picturesque trail.
For those seeking a bit more adrenaline, the Keystone Heights Airpark offers the perfect opportunity for skydiving. Put on parachute and experience the thrill of freefall as you take in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you're a seasoned skydiver or a first-timer, this exhilarating activity is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Local events and festivals
Bradford County is a community that loves to come together and celebrate its heritage. Throughout the year, the county plays host to a variety of events and festivals that showcase its vibrant culture. The Bradford County Strawberry Festival is a must-visit for foodies and families alike. Indulge in delicious strawberry treats, enjoy live entertainment, and browse the local arts and crafts vendors.
If you're a fan of classic cars, don't miss the Starke Car Show, which takes place annually in downtown Starke. Marvel at the beautifully restored vehicles from a bygone era and chat with the passionate owners who have dedicated countless hours to their preservation. The event also features live music, food vendors, and activities for the whole family.
Shopping and dining in Bradford County
When it comes to shopping and dining, Bradford County offers a delightful mix of options to suit every taste. Explore the boutiques and antique shops in downtown Starke, where you'll find unique treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces. From vintage clothing and home decor to handmade jewelry, there's something for everyone.
For a taste of the local cuisine, head to one of Bradford County's charming small towns. From southern comfort food to farm-to-table delights, the county's restaurants offer a diverse range of flavors. Don't miss the chance to try some authentic Southern barbecue or indulge in a slice of homemade pie at one of the county's cozy diners.
Hidden gems off the beaten path
While Bradford County has its fair share of well-known attractions, it's the hidden gems that truly make this destination special. One such gem is the Gold Head Branch State Park, a tranquil oasis nestled among rolling sandhills and towering longleaf pines. Explore the park's hiking trails, relax on the sandy shores of Little Lake Johnson, or embark on a scenic canoe trip along the park's winding waterways.
Another hidden gem is the historic town of Lawtey, known for its picturesque streets lined with majestic oak trees. Take a leisurely stroll through the town and admire the charming Victorian homes that have been lovingly restored. Don't forget to stop by Lawtey's famous pecan grove, where you can purchase fresh pecans and other local treats.
Accommodations in Bradford County
Whether you're seeking a rustic camping experience or a cozy bed and breakfast, Bradford County offers a range of accommodations to suit every traveler. For nature lovers, the county's parks provide excellent camping facilities, with options for both tent and RV camping. Wake up to the sounds of birdsong and enjoy a cup of coffee as you watch the sunrise over the tranquil waters of a lake.
If you prefer a more luxurious experience, consider staying at one of Bradford County's charming bed and breakfasts. Enjoy personalized service, comfortable accommodations, and a delicious homemade breakfast to start your day off right. Many of these establishments are housed in historic buildings, adding to the charm and character of your stay.
Tips for exploring Bradford County like a local
To make the most of your visit to Bradford County, here are a few tips to help you explore like a local:
1. Embrace the slower pace of life: Bradford County is known for its laid-back atmosphere, so take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures.
2. Engage with the locals: The residents of Bradford County are friendly and welcoming. Strike up a conversation with a local and learn more about the area's history and culture.
3. Pack for all seasons: Florida's weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack layers and be prepared for both sunshine and rain.
4. Respect nature: When enjoying the county's natural attractions, be mindful of the environment and follow any posted rules or regulations.
5. Venture off the beaten path: While the well-known attractions are worth a visit, don't be afraid to explore the lesser-known corners of Bradford County. You never know what hidden treasures you might discover.
Conclusion: Plan your visit to Bradford County
With its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Bradford County is a destination that truly has something for everyone. Whether you're seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a relaxing getaway in a charming small town, this hidden gem in the heart of Florida will captivate your senses and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Bradford County, Florida. Your adventure awaits!