Gilchrist County, Florida: A Charming Place to Call Home
Located in Northern Florida, Gilchrist County is the youngest county in the state as it was founded in 1925. Gilchrist County is mostly rural and is home to approximately 17,000 residents. The largest cities in Gilchrist County include Bell, Fanning Springs, and Trenton. The most prominent industry within the county is agriculture. While the residents are a hard-working bunch, Gilchrist County offers locals and visitors a myriad of opportunities to relax and experience nature.
Agriculture is Gilchrist County's major source of income. While the population of the county is low, the majority of Gilchrist County is home to farmland and ranches. Because farming is the dominant profession in Gilchrist County, the area is home to many great farmers' markets and boasts some of the freshest fruits and vegetables in the state. The Trenton State Farmers' Market is the largest farmers market in the county and is open year round.
The North Florida Holsteins Dairy is one of Gilchrist County's major employers. This dairy, located in Bell, is home to over 10,000 Holsteins and spans 2,400 acres. Dairy farms and local peanut and corn farmers represent the majority of Gilchrist County's agricultural industries.
Gilchrist County offers a wide range of activities for those seeking an adventure. Local natural springs include Ginnie Springs, Fanning Springs, Blue Springs, Hart Springs, and Lily Springs. Providing visitors with a range of activities, these natural springs are a must-see. The springs offer many opportunities to experience nature. Lily Springs made the news headlines in 2012 because of its avid fan and conservation advocate, Naked Ed. Naked Ed is a local senior citizen who lives a nudist lifestyle, and he gained media attention for his dedication to restoring and preserving Lily Springs.
Visiting Gilchrist County's Suwannee River or Santa Fe River promises opportunities for tubing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and cave diving. Fishing and camping are also favorite pastimes of residents. Gilchrist County's Nature Coast Rails to Trails offers pristine hiking opportunities and bird watching. Equestrians interested in horseback riding are permitted to ride horses on the trail's dirt portion.
The Gilchrist Club is known in Northern Florida as the hunter's home for hunting, fishing, and camping opportunities. This organization works year-round to offer avid hunters a range of game options to choose from. Hart Springs, Blue Springs, and Otter Springs all provide campgrounds for short- and long-term campers and hunters alike, and promise fantastic hiking.
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