Bartram Trail in Putnam County In Florida

Here is everything you need to know about the Bartram Trail in Putnam County:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Florida
  • Length: 250 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida, holds a significant place in the region’s history. Named after the renowned naturalist William Bartram, the trail follows the footsteps of this 18th-century explorer and provides a glimpse into the area’s rich historical past. Bartram, who traveled extensively throughout the Southeastern United States, documented his observations of the local flora, fauna, and Native American cultures during his travels. His writings, including his famous book “Travels,” have become invaluable historical records.

The Bartram Trail in Putnam County specifically highlights the areas that Bartram explored during his travels in the late 1700s. It takes visitors through diverse landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and along the banks of the St. Johns River. Along the trail, hikers can discover the same natural wonders that fascinated Bartram centuries ago. The trail also provides an opportunity to learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the region, such as the Timucua and Seminole peoples, whose cultures and traditions are an integral part of the area’s history.

Putnam County itself has a rich historical background. It was originally inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. The area played a significant role in the early colonization of Florida, with Spanish explorers establishing missions and settlements in the region. Over time, the county witnessed the rise and fall of various industries, including agriculture, timber, and tourism. The Bartram Trail serves as a reminder of this history, allowing visitors to connect with the past and appreciate the natural and cultural heritage of Putnam County.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Oconee River Trailhead: Located near the Oconee River, this trailhead provides access to the Bartram Trail in Putnam County. It is a popular starting point for hikers and offers parking facilities.

2. Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails: This trailhead is located near the Rock Hawk Effigy, a large Native American rock carving. It provides access to the Bartram Trail and offers parking facilities.

3. Oconee National Forest: The Bartram Trail passes through the Oconee National Forest in Putnam County, providing multiple access points. These access points may include parking areas or designated trailheads within the forest.

4. Lake Sinclair Recreation Area: This recreation area, located near Lake Sinclair, offers access to the Bartram Trail. It provides parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers.

5. Oconee Springs Park: Situated near Lake Sinclair, Oconee Springs Park offers access to the Bartram Trail. It provides parking facilities and serves as a trailhead for hikers.

6. Old Phoenix Road: This road intersects with the Bartram Trail in Putnam County, providing an access point for hikers. It may have limited parking options.

7. Rock Eagle Effigy and Trails: The Bartram Trail passes near the Rock Eagle Effigy, another Native American rock carving. This area may serve as an access point for hikers, with parking facilities available.

Please note that trailheads and access points along the Bartram Trail may vary, and it is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail organizations for the most up-to-date information before planning a hike.

Transportation Available

1. Putnam County Transit – Local public transportation service in Putnam County.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service available in the area.
3. Lyft – Another on-demand ride-hailing service operating in the vicinity.
4. Taxi Services – Various taxi companies offering transportation services in the area.
5. Rental Car Agencies – Several car rental companies providing vehicles for hire.
6. Bike Rentals – Local businesses offering bicycle rentals for exploring the Bartram Trail.
7. Walking – The Bartram Trail can be accessed by foot, making walking a viable transportation option.
8. Private Shuttles – Some private companies offer shuttle services for transportation to and from the Bartram Trail.


The amenities available at the Bartram Trail in Putnam County may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available along the trail or at designated areas.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas or parking lots available for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail, there may be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There might be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.

5. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead, there may be additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and visitor centers.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there might be interpretive signs providing information about the flora, fauna, and historical significance of the area.

7. Benches and Seating: There may be benches or seating areas along the trail for visitors to rest and enjoy the surroundings.

8. Water Fountains: Depending on the trail, there might be water fountains or hydration stations available for visitors to refill their water bottles.

9. Trash Receptacles: There may be trash cans or bins along the trail for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

10. Accessibility Features: Some trails may have accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, or paved paths for individuals with disabilities.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Crescent City Lodging – Convenient lodging option near Bartram Trail in Putnam County.
2. Palatka Food Services – Various food services available in Palatka, close to Bartram Trail.
3. Putnam County Emergency Services – Emergency services provided by Putnam County authorities.
4. Welaka Lodging – Lodging options in Welaka, a nearby town to Bartram Trail.
5. Interlachen Food Services – Food services available in Interlachen, close to Bartram Trail.
6. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office – Emergency services provided by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
7. Satsuma Lodging – Lodging options in Satsuma, a town near Bartram Trail.
8. Florahome Food Services – Food services available in Florahome, close to Bartram Trail.
9. Putnam County Fire Rescue – Emergency services provided by Putnam County Fire Rescue.
10. Georgetown Lodging – Lodging options in Georgetown, a nearby town to Bartram Trail.

Bartram Trail in Putnam County Difficulty Notes

The Bartram Trail in Putnam County offers a moderate level of difficulty for hikers. Spanning approximately 7 miles, the trail presents a variety of terrains and elevations, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience. The trail features some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring hikers to navigate carefully. Additionally, there are a few creek crossings that may pose a challenge, especially during periods of high water. However, with proper preparation and caution, the Bartram Trail in Putnam County can be an enjoyable and rewarding hiking experience for those seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

1. Palatka Riverfront Park: Located in downtown Palatka, this park offers beautiful views of the St. Johns River and is a great starting point for exploring the Bartram Trail.

2. Ravine Gardens State Park: This park features stunning gardens, steephead ravines, and a suspension bridge. It is a designated National Natural Landmark and offers scenic views along the Bartram Trail.

3. Rice Creek Conservation Area: This conservation area is known for its diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and marshes. It offers opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting along the Bartram Trail.

4. Dunns Creek State Park: Situated along the western shore of the St. Johns River, this park offers picturesque views of the water and is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and hiking along the Bartram Trail.

5. Welaka State Forest: This forest is home to various wildlife species and offers scenic views of the surrounding wetlands and forests. It provides a peaceful and serene atmosphere for hiking along the Bartram Trail.

6. Mount Royal Archaeological Site: This historical site is an ancient Native American mound complex and is considered one of the most significant archaeological sites in Florida. It offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history along the Bartram Trail.

7. Etoniah Creek State Forest: This forest is known for its diverse plant and animal life, including rare and endangered species. It offers scenic views of the surrounding forests and wetlands along the Bartram Trail.

8. Ocala National Forest: Although not directly in Putnam County, the Bartram Trail passes through a section of the Ocala National Forest. This vast forest offers breathtaking views, crystal-clear springs, and numerous recreational activities along the trail.

9. St. Johns River: The Bartram Trail follows the St. Johns River for a portion of its route, providing scenic views of the river and opportunities for boating, fishing, and wildlife watching.

10. Various creeks and streams: The Bartram Trail crosses several creeks and streams throughout Putnam County, offering picturesque views and opportunities for water activities such as kayaking or canoeing.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Bartram Trail in Putnam County. Exploring this trail will provide a deeper appreciation for the region’s natural beauty and rich history.

Usage Guidelines


Seasonal Information

The Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida, offers a picturesque and serene hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting. The fall season, from September to November, is particularly popular due to the pleasant weather and the stunning foliage that blankets the trail. The vibrant colors of the changing leaves create a breathtaking backdrop for hikers, making it an ideal time to explore the Bartram Trail.

Another great time to visit the Bartram Trail is during the spring season, from March to May. The weather during this time is mild and comfortable, with blooming wildflowers and lush greenery adorning the trail. The trail becomes a haven for birdwatchers as migratory birds return to the area, offering a unique opportunity to observe a variety of species in their natural habitat.

It is important to note that the Bartram Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions in place. During the summer months, from June to August, the trail may experience closures or limited access due to the hot and humid weather conditions. These closures are implemented to ensure the safety of hikers and to prevent any potential heat-related incidents. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the trail management before planning a visit during this time.

Additionally, occasional closures or restrictions may occur due to maintenance work or natural events such as storms or flooding. It is always recommended to check for any updates or closures before embarking on your hike to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Overall, the best times to visit the Bartram Trail in Putnam County are during the fall and spring seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the trail showcases its natural beauty. By planning your visit accordingly and staying informed about any closures or restrictions, you can make the most of your hiking adventure on the Bartram Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces near the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users to enter and exit their vehicles comfortably.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A trailhead with a smooth and level surface, allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
3. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, providing a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users to navigate.
4. Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
5. Picnic Areas: Wheelchair accessible picnic areas with tables and benches designed to accommodate individuals with mobility impairments.
6. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trail, including Braille and tactile elements, to assist individuals with visual impairments.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: Wheelchair accessible benches and rest areas strategically placed along the trail for individuals to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Accessible Fishing Spots: Designated fishing spots with accessible features, such as lowered platforms or ramps, for wheelchair users to enjoy fishing activities.
9. Trail Width: The trail is wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids comfortably.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair accessible water fountains located along the trail, designed with lower spouts for easy access.
11. Trail Surface: The trail surface is smooth and even, allowing for easy wheelchair navigation without significant obstacles.
12. Accessible Trail Loops: The trail offers accessible loop options, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy a variety of scenic views and distances.
13. Trail Grades: The trail features gentle slopes and minimal inclines, ensuring wheelchair users can navigate the trail without excessive effort.
14. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, for individuals with visual impairments.
15. Assistance Animals: The trail allows service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities, providing necessary support and assistance.

Safety Information

When visiting the Bartram Trail in Putnam County, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. This will help prevent getting lost or encountering hazardous terrain.

2. Carry a map and compass: Always have a map of the trail and a compass with you. Familiarize yourself with the trail route before starting your hike and use these tools to navigate if needed.

3. Dress appropriately: Wear sturdy, comfortable footwear suitable for hiking. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions and protect yourself from sunburn, insects, and ticks. Consider wearing a hat and using sunscreen.

4. Stay hydrated: Carry an adequate amount of water with you and drink regularly to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and other health issues.

5. Be aware of wildlife: The Bartram Trail is home to various wildlife species. Respect their habitat and observe them from a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any wild animals, as this can be dangerous for both you and the animals.

6. Use insect repellent: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects. Check for ticks regularly, as they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease.

7. Be cautious near water bodies: If the trail passes by rivers, lakes, or other water bodies, exercise caution. Do not swim alone, and be aware of currents, slippery rocks, and other potential hazards.

8. Inform someone of your plans: Before heading out on the trail, let someone know about your plans, including the trail you’ll be hiking, estimated duration, and when you expect to return. This way, if you encounter any issues, someone will be aware and able to assist if needed.

9. Carry essential supplies: Pack a small first aid kit, a whistle for emergencies, a flashlight, extra food, and a fully charged cell phone. These items can be crucial in case of unexpected situations or emergencies.

10. Respect the environment: Leave no trace behind. Carry out all trash and dispose of it properly. Respect the natural surroundings and avoid damaging plants or disturbing wildlife.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying outdoor activities. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while visiting the Bartram Trail in Putnam County.

Conservation Notes

The Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida, holds a significant conservation status due to its unique ecological features and the efforts made to preserve its natural resources. The trail traverses through diverse habitats, including wetlands, forests, and riverbanks, providing a home to a wide range of plant and animal species. The conservation status of the Bartram Trail is crucial in maintaining the integrity of these habitats and protecting the biodiversity they support.

Efforts have been made to conserve the Bartram Trail through various means, including land acquisition and habitat restoration projects. Conservation organizations and government agencies have collaborated to protect the trail’s surrounding lands from development and ensure the preservation of its natural beauty. By acquiring and managing these lands, the conservation status of the Bartram Trail is enhanced, allowing for the continued existence of its unique ecosystems.

Additionally, the conservation status of the Bartram Trail is supported by ongoing monitoring and research initiatives. These efforts aim to understand the ecological dynamics of the trail and its surrounding areas, identifying potential threats and implementing appropriate conservation measures. By studying the flora and fauna along the trail, scientists can assess the health of the ecosystems and make informed decisions to protect and restore them.

Overall, the conservation status of the Bartram Trail in Putnam County is of utmost importance to safeguard the diverse habitats and species it encompasses. Through land acquisition, habitat restoration, and ongoing research, the trail’s ecological integrity is being preserved, ensuring its continued existence for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Leave a Comment