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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida

Scenic Drive: St. James Island and Carrabelle

Driving Directions: Continue east on the Byway (US 98), cross the bridge over the Carrabelle River onto St. James Island, turn right on Marine Street, then left on CR 30A to the intersection with US 98 (4.5 miles). Turn right on US 98 and continue 5.3 miles to Lanark Village.

Distance and driving time between this and previous stop: 9.8 miles / 12 minutes.

Carrabelle Harbor

Description: Crossing the Carrabelle River onto St. James Island, the Byway passes the Waterfront Florida Community of Carrabelle, which is technically an island because it is surrounded by the Carrabelle River, Crooked River, Ochlockonee River, and the Gulf of Mexico. Incorporated in 1893, the city flourished during the early part of the 1900s when the lumber and turpentine industries were at their height. Today tourists visit the area to fish, swim, dive, scallop, and just relax. Carrabelle has a growing population of Black Bears who are drawn each fall by abundance of acorn-producing Oak trees. Their arrival is celebrated with a Black Bear Festival in October.

The scenic waterfront features a harbor with pavilions, docks, and walkways backed by pine trees growing down to the water’s edge. The route is interspersed with freshwater ponds and wetlands that serve as rookeries for wading birds. Opposite Lanark Village is Lanark Reef, a nesting site and a feeding ground for many species of Terns and shore birds.

Other Nearby Destinations: World’s Smallest Police Station; Camp Gordon Johnston Museum, Carrabelle Riverwalk; FSU Marine and Coastal Laboratory.

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