walker springs


History

The neighborhood consists of approximately 60,000 acres of plantations in the Lamont area, thousands of acres of SRWMD lands and almost 90,000 acres of private hunting clubs. The area has a strong tradition of hunting.

This is one of the most significant archeological areas in North America. The Aucilla River Prehistory Project showed early hunters here as far back as 12,200 years. A wealth of archeological treasures has been found in the river from Mastodons to Saber-toothed tigers. Indian points from as far as Colorado have been found here. The oldest know evidence of humans on the North American continent was found in the Aucilla River just downstream of Walker Springs. This area, just below the Cody Escarpment, has been extensively studied by both the University of Florida as well as Florida State University, and was key hunting grounds for the Appalachee Indians. Their capital city was located just a few miles from Walker Springs on the present day Avalon Plantation. The first governor of the State of Florida’s ranch headquarters was a few miles to the Northwest. It is believed that the first wheat grown in North America was planted on the El Tregal Plantation one property to the north. In the mid 1600’s the Spanish Mission San Miguel De Asile was located just a few miles north. During antebellum times travelers seeking salt at the coast often camped at the spring as a resting place on the Old Salt Road between the Gulf of Mexico and Thomasville. After the Civil War, the area became well known for its wild game and still holds that draw today. The Cracker Cabin at the property is a testament to this hunting heritage.

The Neighborhood

Walker Springs is featured on the prestigious Red Hills Plantation Map. This area is just south of the Cody Escarpment that is the boundary of the 300,000 acres of plantations known as the Red Hills. There are approximately 60,000 acres of plantations in the Lamont area. Notable neighbors include Ted Turner (Avalon), FSU President TK Wetherell (Oak Hill), Whit Foster (Turkey Scratch).

The Suwannee River Water Management’s (SRWMD) Middle Aucilla Tract touches Walker Springs on two sides! The Suwannee River Water Management District has a concerted campaign to own as much of the Aucilla River frontage as they can. They now own approximately 80% of this section of river! Although the SRWMD is a great neighbor, the fact remains that private landholdings here are now very rare and getting rarer. The SRWMD’s objective is to protect this very special and unique area. They are great neighbors and add a lot to the recreation of the area. The area has great canoe and kayaking access points with a private take out at Walker Springs. Hunting is by limited permit only.

Fishing is incredible in the Aucilla with redbreast bream being exceptional. The Gulf of Mexico is only about twenty miles down the Old Salt Road. Landings at Mandalay on the Aucilla and The Econfina are some of the best in the Big Bend. This is some of the best red fishing and trout fishing in Florida. Recently, scallops have been plentiful as well. The 65,000 acre St. Marks Refuge is not far away. This is some of the most game-rich areas of the Southeast.