Located in Putnam County, Florahome is home (pun intended) to everything green and swampy. Surrounded by local towns such as Gainesville and Palatka, Florahome is a closely knit, unincorporated community with a population of almost 2,000. It’s about 44 miles to big cities like Jacksonville and a 3-hour drive to the state capital Tallahassee.
Accessible from State Road 100, Florahome’s historic streets are laid in a grid system and are named according to trees and shrubs (north and south) or state and provinces (east and west). In the late 1800s, marshlands near Palatka were drained to make farmland more suitable and entice new residents. The town was officially established in 1899 by the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway, who had a train stop here. The community is thought to be named for one of the original residents — Flora Sipprell. Legend suggests locals talked about heading to “Flora’s home”, which eventually became Florahome.
Fun fact: Once upon a time, Florahome was an island, but the waters’ were drained for human habitation. The town is now situated on a sandy hill that rises from the marshy lowlands.
Things to Do in Florahome, Fl
Florahome is a quiet town full of trails, but that doesn’t mean that is all to it. We’ll show you the best trails and the other fantastic things you can still do.
Lake Blossom Trail
120-104 Garden Dr, Florahome, FL 32140
It doesn’t matter whether you’re into hiking or not; you should definitely try out the Lake Blossom trail. As the name sounds, it leads to a lake. Located in the Etoniah Creek State Forest, the trail is a mile-long loop around a small sinkhole lake—short enough that you don’t get tired of walking. However, the grasses are overgrown (which gives room for snakes and others, be careful). Entry to the lake is free, and you get to enjoy bird-watching the native species.
George’s Lake Boat Ramp
Boat Ramp Rd, Florahome, FL 32140
George’s Lake is the area’s heartbeat, where locals and vacationers alike go to relax on the water. The lake is 820 acres, so not big enough to be wildly busy with boats, but definitely large enough for all water pursuits from sailing to jet skiing to bass fishing. There’s a public boat ramp so you can bring a boat and launch even if you aren’t staying right on the lake.
Florida Trail Fieldhouse Trailhead
390 Holloway Rd, Florahome, FL 32140
The Fieldhouse Trailhead is the longest trail in Florahome, spanning over 18 miles. Also located within the Etoniah Creek State Forest, the route starts at a parking lot off Fieldhouse Road and goes to the end of 9-mile Swamp Rd. Considered a moderately difficult path, it takes over five hours to complete—enough time for you to listen to your favorite albums with your plus one. And if you’re with the family, it’s also an excellent spot for camping.
Etoniah Creek State Forest
390 Holloway Rd, Florahome, FL 32140
Etoniah creek is an 8,679-acre forest located north of Florahome. Home to the endangered plant species Conradina Etonia, a federally protected endangered shrub in the mint family, Etoniah is an exciting place to be. There is a creek, which it is named after, that travels 2.5 miles through the eastern part of the forest. Other creeks in the state forest include the Rice and Falling branch creeks. Habitat of multiple endangered wildlife such as the gopher tortoise, black creek crayfish and eastern indigo snake, get ready to become a wildlife photographer. Your furry friends are welcome, and fees are cheap, except for commercial photographers who require a permit. However, note that the forest isn’t open on weekends.
Old Bellamy Road
Take a slow drive along Bellamy Road where it intersects Hwy 100 for a slice of local history. In 1824, Congress appropriated $20,000 to develop a public road in the Territory of Florida between Pensacola and St. Augustine, set to follow the Old Mission Trail. The St. Augustine to Tallahassee segment was contracted to John Bellamy who completed his section in 1826 using Native American guides and his own slaves. Remnants of the old sand road are used today and forms the county line between northwest Putnam and southwest Clay County.
Best Restaurants near Florahome, Florida
There aren’t a ton of options, considering Florahome is such a small town. But here are some of the best places to grab a bite to eat nearby.
1119 State Rte 100, Florahome, FL 32140
Subway is your casual counter-serve chain for building your sandwiches and salads. Located in the Circle K convenience and gas station, this is one epic place to get a quick bite. Subway is open from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Further up the road in Keystone Heights, you’ll find a Hardee’s, Wendy’s and McHenry’s Sports Pub. If you need even more options, head east on 100 toward Palatka for plenty of chains just off I-95.
Where to Stay near/in Florahome Florida
Lakefront Airbnb Near Jacksonville
George’s Lake is so close to Jacksonville, you’ll often find residents of the Bold City chilling out on the lake on the weekends. It’s a small community but there are rentals available on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. We recommend the Reel Chill Cottage. It’s pet friendly, sleeps 4, has a long dock, great bass fishing and it’s safe for swimming.
This is a low-key, no frills lake cottage where the main focus is unplugging and enjoying the great outdoors. The cottage is clean and comfortable but it’s not the Ritz Carlton. George’s Lake is casual, laid back and country. If you love to fish, boat, swim or just read a book, you’ll love it. There’s a living room with cozy seating and big windows overlooking the lake. There’s an eat-in kitchen, a mudroom to store wet floats and soggy shoes and a fire pit for cool nights.
For details on booking the REEL CHILL COTTAGE, click here.
Rooterville Animal Sanctuary – Luxury Cabin
When you stay at Rooterville Animal Sanctuary in Melrose, you’ll be 31.6 mi (50.9 km) from the University of Florida. Treat yourself to a stay in one of the two individually decorated guestrooms featuring fireplaces. There are also covered wagons and tent camping. Conveniences include microwaves and coffee/tea makers, and housekeeping is provided on request. However, a night costs $224, but discounts for a bit less with additional nights. For more information, check out Rooterville Animal Sanctuary’s website.
Trails End Outdoor RV Park & Cabins
163 Willis Rd, Interlachen, FL 32148
Located within a 7-min drive of Carl Duval Moore state forest, the hotel gives you the feeling of the outdoors with their cabins but modern amenities like free Wi-Fi. A night goes for $100, depending on your cabin type.
Hotels Near Florahome
To stay in an actual chain hotel, you’ll need to hop over to Palatka near the interstate.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites: Visit website
- Hampton Inn Palatka: Visit website
- Crystal Cove Riverfront Resort: crystalcoveresortfl.com
Special Events in Florahome
Currently, there are no special events we are aware of in Florahome, but if you do know, please send a line.
How to Get Around in Florahome
There are no bus routes in Florahome and ride-hailing service such as Uber and Lyft are limited if you can find them at all. For visitors, a personal vehicle is a must. It’s also nice to have a boat, kayak, stand-up paddleboard or jet ski to explore George’s Lake.
On the surface, Florahome might seem like a small drive-by town, but for unique Florida hiking, great bass fishing and lakeside relaxing, you can’t go wrong.