In the last post, I mentioned Milton, Florida so I thought I’d write about it this time.
Founded in the late 1800’s, Milton is one of Florida’s oldest cities Since it was built beside the Blackwater River a timber mill was constructed and Mill Town, as it was called at the time, thrived as a ship building town and a supplier to other ship building industries. Later, citing they preferred a one word name for the city instead of two, the Post Office changed the name from Mill Town to Milton.
According to Wikipedia, the town also went by several other names over the years. The most notable of these were “Hell Town” because it was a “muggy, inhospitable land covered with briars, mosquitos, thorns and snakes”; Jernigan’s Landing”, after one of the founders, “Scratch Ankle”, due to the briars that grew along the riverbank and “Hard Scrabble”. I’m not sure where that last one came from.
Milton is located in the center of the county and is the county seat of Santa Rosa County.
Pensacola across the bay from Milton, has one of the larger Navy bases, NAS Pensacola. Whiting Field is one of the two of the Navy’s primary pilot training bases and is located just north of Milton, FL.
Withing minutes of Milton, you could be fishing or boating on the Blackwater River or in the Gulf of Mexico. The Blackwater River was so named for the tinted color of the river that comes from the vegetation’s tanins that stain the water a transparent tea color. Along the river curves you can relax on the white, sandy beaches or sandbars.
The Blackwater river runs through Milton. Walking on the Riverwalk, along the river in Milton, you’ll find the Veteran’s Memorial, a concert pavillion and at the end of the riverwalk a grassy area where you can listen to the Bands on the Blackwater concerts or watch a movie on a large outdoor screen or even rent little mini boats. Numerous festivals throughout the year are held here, too.
The Blackwater State Forest is also within minutes from downtown Milton and is a great place for hiking, fishing, canoeing or camping. In the park, along the river, you can find canoe liveries where you can rent canoes, kayaks and tubes. They’ll take you up river where you can float back down to them. There’s also a place nearby where you can zipline.
About 30 minutes from Milton, you can be at the beautiful white sand, clear water beach called Navarre Beach. The lack of numerous restaurants and souvenier shops makes Navarre Beach one of Florida Panhandle’s least commercialized beaches.
West of Milton, on the other side of Escambia Bay is Pensacola. Pensacola is known as the City of Five Flags and has a great history of it’s own. The flags that flew over Pensacola were Spain, France, Britain, the Confederacy and the United States. The Navy’s Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola. The Cincinnati Reds affiliate team, the Blue Wahoo’s a minor league baseball team is located in Pensacola and they have a beautiful stadium in the Community Maritime Park. Pensacola is also home to the Ice Pilots ice hockey team.
Going south from Pensacola and Milton, you can get to beautiful water and white, sandy beaches of Pensacola Beach. There you can parasail, jet ski, swim, dine, shop, soak up some sun, or listen to some great live music.
At the west end of Pensacola Beach, is Ft. Pickens. Ft Pickens is a pentagon shaped military fort that has a very interesting history. It’s named after American Revolutionary war hero, Andrew Pickens.
It was one of three forts that guarded the entrance to Pensacola Bay and the communities on the mainland shore from European invaders. During the Civil War, it was the southern most point controlled by Union Soldiers. In 1886, Ft Pickens became one of Florida’s first tourist attractions. When Geronimo was captured and moved to Ft. Pickens for imprisonment, admission was charged to view him and his family.
With the proximity to Pensacola, Eglin Air Force Base, the two Navy bases and the beaches Milton is a great place to live and visit.
I hope you found this post both informative and interesting. If you like what you’re reading, there’s a place on the side where you can subscribe to future posts.