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Visit the Canopy Roads

A canopy road

Here you will find information about the canopy roads within Leon County, we hope you visit the different canopy road pages listed below and enjoy the photos and history of each road. You can download a map of each road, enjoy a scenic ride and take in all the breath taking views.

The canopy roads that we experience as we drive through town are now protected by law.  They came into existence from the old Indian trails which then became market roads that plantation owners lined with live oaks.  Now their branches meet above the roads in a dense over story of growth dripping Spanish moss. Light filters through them by day, becoming mysterious tunnels of darkness on moonless nights.  Below is a list of Tallahassee's canopy roads and their history. 

Centerville road/Moccasin Gap road is reached from the heart of town where Magnolia Drive ends and the canopy immediately begins to shade motorists as they negotiate rush hour traffic. Several miles down the road is Bradley's Country Store. This historic landmark is a must see for visitors to Leon County.

Map of Centerville road/Moccasin Gap road

This road began in 1824 when a federal surveyor laid lengths of chain through Leon County's forests to establish the Prime Meridian for surveying all of Florida. As a result of that surveyor's effort to go straight over a hill rather than around it, Meridian Road rarely dips or curves and has banks as high as eight feet in places.

Map of Meridian Road

Extending into east-northeast Leon County, this road began as an Indian footpath that led to the village of Miccosukee. British surveyors made note of the path in 1767. By the 1850's the road was used by thirty Leon county plantation owners to haul cotton to market. Gracious old live oaks now create a nearly nine mile long stretch of continuous canopy.

Map of Miccosukee Road

This road is almost parallel to US 27. Archeologists have found the remains of Native American villages, as well as a 1600's Spanish mission, along this road. It proves a scenic route to Havana, Florida.

Map of Old Bainbridge Road

Old Centerville Road dates back to the early nineteenth century, shortly after the founding of Tallahassee and Thomasville, Georgia. The six mile long wagon road was part of another north-south route linking the antebellum plantations to the Tallahassee market and rail lines to St. Marks. Along Centerville Road, south of Old Centerville Road is the small community of Centreville in Leon County. While Centreville and the neighboring hamlet of Sunny Hill have long since disappeared, the unpaved section of Old Centerville Road still retains it's historical character. Along the shaded canopy road, scattered former tenant dwellings peek out. Their forest green painted siding is dusted with clouds of red clay stirred up by passing motorists.

Map of Old Centerville Road

Located southeast of downtown Tallahassee, this road dates back to the 1600's when it linked Spanish missions from here to St. Augustine. There is now no trace of the 17th century Franciscan mission or the Indian council house along the road, but its scenic beauty persists to this day. Old St. Augustine Road was the first highway built in Florida. It was completed in the 1820's and followed an old Indian footpath which had become the "Spanish Trail" connecting Pensacola to St. Augustine, prior to American settlement.

Map of Old St. Augustine Road

The settlement history of Pisgah Church Road begins with the Methodist missionary circuit riders who first held services near Centerville, Florida in 1822. Centerville was just west of the current intersection of Pisgah Church Road and Bradfordville Road. During the Seminole Wars in 1839 a patrol station at Centerville was very active in protecting white settlers from raids by Native Americans. By 1848, Centerville had a post office, dry goods store, and a livery stable. Pisgah Church Road was probably built when Pisgah Church was established, but it is not documented clearly until 1883 on a map published that year.

Map of Pisgah Church Road

While Leon County's other six designated canopy roads (Old Bainbridge, Meridian, Centerville, Miccosukee, St.Augustine and Old Centerville) were described in the nineteenth century as "spokes in a wheel" emanating from Tallahassee, Sunny Hill Road reflects a hard clay backwoods road that linked both the plantations and hamlets near the Florida-Georgia border. Antebellum planters and farmers in the Red Hills used a network of roads to haul Sea Island cotton to the Gulf ports of Magnolia, Newport, and St. Marks for shipment to Northern markets and England. Today, the only remnants of the antebellum plantation culture along Sunny Hill Road are the family cemeteries of the Ponders and Manning's. The road itself, however, with its high red clay embankments and cathedral tunnel of green that once shaded the cotton wagon driver are visual reminders of the road's history. Sunny Hill Road has a rich history and its scenic beauty has been preserved. It joins Leon County's other designated canopy roads as a treasured community asset.

Map of Sunny Hill Road

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