If you’re a passionate mountain climber, or one of the 490 people who have stood atop the highest points in each of the lower 48 states, then you’re probably already familiar with Britton Hill, Florida. The highest natural point in Florida, standing 345 feet above sea level, Britton Hill is well-known in the highpointers community for its relative ease of access and stunning scenery.
Britton Hill has been an internationally recognized destination for mountain climbers for decades, and its popularity continues to grow. The Highpointers Foundation, which started tracking the number of climbers to reach high points in the United States since 1987, records 250 people have stood atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii and Mt. McKinley in Alaska, in addition to the numerous climbers who have conquered Mt. Everest.
Visitors to Britton Hill are in for a treat – Estus Whitfield, an environmental advisor to five Florida governors, warns climbers to prepare for the potential of getting light-headed, but also encourages taking your time to fully experience the local flora and fauna. Those looking to explore the area can take a 45-minute walk through the yellow trail, or, depending on how long they plan to stay, take the 1-hour blue route or 1.5-hour red route.
Once visitors arrive at the site, they’ll find that the approach along County Road 285 is peaceful and relaxing. As they pass old Florida-style homes and 1950s-era gas stations, rural areas and open fields, they’re likely to encounter other travelers heading to Strickland’s Christmas Tree Farm. Here, families from miles around come to cut their own Christmas tree and enjoy The Panhandle Opry. The Opry was born from a shared love of country music and started hosting jam sessions and covered dish suppers for family and friends. Eventually, the Gig grew and moved to its own dedicated space near the Mossy Head Branch, a tributary of the Shoal River. Guests can sit back and relax in theatre-style seating as they experienced Billy Dean and Chloe Channell come home to headline.
While visiting Florida’s highest point, travelers can also book a room at one of the many motels along the roadside or the Hotel DeFuniak. Or, to really treat themselves, they’ll want to try some of the delicious local restaurants such as Ed’s Restaurant, Simply Good Country Cooking, and the Corner Cafe for breakfast.
So if you’re a mountain climber, or a highpointer looking to see Florida’s highest point, Britton Hill, Florida should be added to your bucket list. With its easy access, rural setting, and delicious food, Britton Hill is here to give you an unforgettable mountain climbing experience.
When climbing Britton Hill, visitors should also take in the local wildlife. The area is home to many species of birds and small mammals, as well as wild turkeys, armadillos and black bears. Bird watchers will be delighted with the wide range of avian life that can be seen in the area.
The area around Britton Hill was also once a popular spot for hunters. Although hunting has been banned in recent years, you may still come across evidence of this activity as you wander the trails.
If you’re looking for something more challenging than just reaching the high point, climbers can explore the nearby Chinquapin Ridge Nature Trail. While the trail may not be very long, it’s filled with all sorts of inclines and descents sure to test any climber’s skills.
The Florida Trail, which runs from Pensacola Beach to the Florida Keys, also goes near Britton Hill, meaning adventurous trekkers can make it part of their journey. For those with limited time, the trailhead at Nokuse Plantation Wildlife Management Area is a popular starting point.
The area around Britton Hill is also home to several state parks, offering even more opportunities to get out and explore nature. Econfina Creek State Park features a 1.2-mile trail that passes through wetlands and mixed hardwood forest. Meanwhile, Falling Creek State Park offers a 2-mile wooded trail, picnic areas, and freshwater swimming.
For a unique experience, visitors can head south to the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. The park is filled with exotic plants and trees that bring a feeling of tranquility to anyone walking the winding paths.
The area around Britton Hill is also a great place to camp. There are several campgrounds within a short distance of the area, making it easy to stay for a few days or a few weeks. Many of these campgrounds offer amenities such as fire pits, grills, and picnic tables.
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, be sure to check out the DeFuniak Springs Farmers Market. The market is held every Saturday and features fresh produce, baked goods, and art from local vendors as well as area farmers.
And if you’re looking for more than just nature, then be sure to check out some of the local attractions. The Chautauqua Winery is a must-visit for anyone who loves wine, while the Walton County Historical Museum offers compelling stories about the area’s past. Also within a short drive is the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, home to a wide variety of aquatic animals.
There’s something for everyone near Britton Hill, Florida, making it an ideal destination for all kinds of visitors. Whether you’re there to climb, camp, explore, or just relax and enjoy some local flavor, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful corner of the Sunshine State.