Washington County Sinkhole Map
Last updated: 04/25/2018
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Washington County FL
Washington County is located in northwest Florida, covering a large central slice of that region commonly referred to as the Florida Panhandle. Named after the first U.S. president, this county was formed in 1825, with the name of its geographical center, Vernon, also derived from George Washington’s home in Virginia, Mt. Vernon. Washington’s county seat and largest city is Chipley which was founded around the early 1880s and named after railroad pioneer William Dudley Chipley.
Washington County spreads over a total area of 616 square miles, with land accounting for 583 square miles and water 33 square miles. The southern section of the Choctawhatcee River and its water management area defines the western border of this county.
Robust Economic Platforms
This river along with the county’s other inland waterways plus the local railway help grow Washington’s economy. The specific industries which built economic growth in the county include those related to forestry, such as milling and turpentine production. Likewise contributors are the agriculture and livestock sectors, agribusiness, and naval stores.
The economic gains and its accompanying boost on development of residential communities have been most pronounced in Chipley. This is so because it was through this city where much of the county’s produce are shipped to the developing centers across Florida.
Thanks to a well-established transport infrastructure, the bounty from the industries of Washington County has also spilled over to other parts of its territory. These communities include Caryville, Ebro, Vernon, and Wausau which now count among the county’s major population centers.
Various mechanisms are in place to secure the future of the county’s economy. Washington harnesses its central Florida Panhandle location through a well-built in-state highway system and freight rail transportation. In addition, it also boasts of commercial and corporate airports and port facilities easily accessible for both foreign and domestic trade. It provides liberal tax incentives to business locators too and offers two Free Trade Zones: the Tommy McDonald Industrial Park and the Washington County Industrial Park
An Abundance in Amenities
Besides the opportunities of its vibrant economy, there’s so much to enjoy for folks who chose to reside in Washington County. In Chipley, the city offers a commercial district filled not only with boutiques, gift shops, and homegrown restaurants. A farmers market, railroad museum, and a historic theater are also part of the lifestyle in Chipley.
Residents and visitors can partake of various recreational activities in Washington’s 400,000 acres of open fields and dense forests easily accessible via strategic road corridors that serve local communities. The Falling Waters State Park is easily one of the county’s top destinations. It claims the bragging right as the home of Florida’s highest waterfall and having a Jurassic Park-like landscape featuring various trails that lead to a series of sinkholes.
Washington County likewise takes pride in its world-class Seacrest Wolf Preserve. Organized as a nonprofit, this preserve is located at the 430-acre property The Oaks, one of Florida’s most picturesque ranches.
Holmes Creek Water Park is another must-visit destination in the southwest corner of the county near Vernon. This park offers more besides canoeing and kayaking, as its facilities include zip lines, diving boards, water slides, and rope swings.
Washington County, in sum, presents itself as an ideal place to live, with its quiet, small-town feel and family-friendly atmosphere. The county has excellent schools, a superior medical center, and all the building blocks for an All-American way of life.