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Oh, Florida … you’ve changed so much over the last few decades, maybe even centuries. To think all of South Florida used to be only the Everglades and swamp marshes before industrialization kicked it aside and started paving streets. The Everglades are still around for the most part, but what’s the rest of Florida like? In the western part of the state is Ft. Myers and Estero, and those places have maintained the natural habitat quite well. North of Orlando is central Flagler, and this is home to a little piece of history - a 10-mile red-brick road that is the last remaining segment of the original Dixie Highway.
If you ever took a drive through Palm Beach County, Boca, or Deerfield Beach, then you’ve most likely passed Dixie Highway more than once. Beginning its construction in 1915, it was originally planned to connect the U.S. Midwest with the southern states, kind of like the Lincoln Highway that stretches across the U.S. It was expanded until 1916, and it was fairly useful for a few years, connecting Jacksonville to Flagler Beach. However, in 1927, the Dixie Highway Association, the overseers of the project, was disbanded, and the highway was integrated into the U.S. Route system. Interestingly enough, parts of the old Dixie Highway were left intact.
Known as the “Old Brick Road,” this 10-mile stretch is one of the last few remaining segments of the original Dixie Highway. An interesting attraction for tourists and Florida natives alike, some call it the “Florida Ghost Highway” because it feels like a step into the past of what once was. For some of the older folk, maybe even a trip down memory lane. Just be sure your vehicle can handle the trip.
Being that this brick road is 90 years old, it’s a little bumpy and mostly unkempt. That means potholes a plenty, ruts, and some parts that are just gone. The picture above it up pretty well. Still, being 10 miles long and 9-feet wide, it’s a nice little scenic drive one can take their time on. The best part? It’s no longer a tourist trap, and more often than not, you won’t see any sign of sentient life for miles - maybe some woodland creatures. Just look out for bears and panthers.
Oh and by the way, cell phone coverage is nearly dead in the area.
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