Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway


Map of Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway

Map of Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Apalachee Savannas

The Apalachicola Savannahs, home to the Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway, are sub-tropical grasslands scattered with longleaf pine trees and covered with drought-resistant undergrowth. It’s an open landscape where wiregrass, or sometimes palmetto, covers the forest floor. Swamps and savannahs are commonly interspersed with the longleaf community. Much of the soil here is sandy and often wet. Wildflowers such as orchids, pitcher plants, and sundews flourish. These savannahs are some of the most botanically rich areas in the country. Do you know that Florida has about 3,500 species of wildflowers?

The byway begins 9 miles south of Bristol on State Road 12. From State Road 12, turn onto State Road 379 heading south to the town of Sumatra. Travel through the flat-to-gently rolling terrain. Stop and explore bays of magnolia and cypress, groves of oaks, or stands of longleaf pine that thrive in the sandhills and flatwoods. History buffs enjoy visiting Fort Gadsden Historic Site near the southern end of the byway.

The byway is ecologically important as a showcase for one of the largest remaining blocks of natural longleaf pine/wiregrass communities in existence. Longleaf forest surrounded with lush wiregrass once stretched from Virginia through Florida and west to Texas. Today, only enough longleaf forests remain to fill an area the size of Virginia, much of it right here in north Florida.

Endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, fox squirrels, black bears, bobcats, wild turkeys, gray foxes, raccoons, and alligators are at home in the diversified ecosystems of the Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway. Search for sights and sounds and enjoy the beauty of the savannahs. Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 24 hours
Reservations: None required
Fees None
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns: Bristol, FL and Sumatra, FL
Operated By: FDOT
Information Center: These savannahs, often holding water all year long, host a stunning display of pitcher plants, sundews, wild orchids, asters, black-eyed susans, blazing star, Harper's Beauty, sneeze weed, and meadow beauty, among others. The Byway also offers excellent glimpses of cypress swamps, magnolia bays, creeks, sloughs, groves of oak hammocks, and some of the largest remaining natural stands of longleaf pine / wiregrass habitat in the South.

General Information


The Scenic Byway begins 9 miles south of Bristol, Florida at the boundary of the Apalachicola National Forest on State Road 12. The Byway follows SR 12 for almost four miles before taking the left turn onto State Road 379.  Passing through Sumatra, the Scenic Byway takes State Road 65 south to the southernmost tip of the forest. Total length: 32 miles

Recreation Map

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  Area/Length : 
32 miles

  Latitude : 

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