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District celebrates opening of Revell Nature Trail Conservation Area

The Northwest Florida Water Management District joined representatives from Wakulla County on Tuesday to announce the opening of the E. Guy Revell, Jr., Nature Trail Conservation Area.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony also featured Guy and Rachel Revell, State Sen. Loranne Ausley and representatives from the office of State Rep. Jason Shoaf as well as the Department of Environmental Protection. 

“Ensuring the long-term preservation of this property is a tremendous accomplishment for the state of Florida, Governor DeSantis, and the water management district,” said Anna Upton, a member of the District’s Governing Board. “The creation of this recreation site for the public to enjoy also speaks to the values of Mr. Revell, who decided to prioritize conservation over development.” 

The 131-acre recreation site is located on land the District acquired from Mr. Revell and features a walking/jogging/cycling trail that weaves around and through the property as well as parking areas, picnic pavilion, restroom facility, and viewing access to karst features on the property. 

“I was able to visit this property several years ago with Mr. Revell, who is a longtime family friend,” said State Sen. Loranne Ausley, who represents 11 counties including Wakulla County. “Guy’s vision was always to make this beautiful land available to the public while also protecting our world famous Wakulla Springs. Thanks so much to the Revell Family, the County and the water management district for working together to make this dream a lasting legacy for generations to come. As a runner and a cyclist, I look forward to enjoying the beautiful E. Guy Revell, Jr., Nature Trail Conservation Area.” 

The recreation site will be maintained through a joint agreement between the District and Wakulla County. 

“This is a great example of what can happen when the government agencies work together with private citizens to create something positive,” said State Rep. Jason Shoaf, who represents Wakulla County. “This partnership would not have happened without Mr. Revell, who wanted to make sure this land that is so special to him will be preserved for generations to come.” 

The District previously acquired more than 250 acres in Wakulla County from Mr. Revell to help preserve sensitive land with a connection to Wakulla Spring. As part of the acquisition, the District agreed to a fee simple purchase of 131.49 acres and a conservation easement on 124.73 acres for a total of $944,895.

Both parcels are within the Wakulla Springs and Upper Wakulla River Basin Management Action Plan Priority Focus Area II.

“Wakulla County is honored to be a partner with the Northwest Florida Water Management District on this project,” Wakulla County Administrator David Edwards said. “The Guy Revell Nature Trail will be another great nature-based amenity for our citizens and visitors.”  

After working with the County to design the trail system, District staff cleared nearly three miles of trails suitable for walking, jogging, or cycling. The recreation site, located on the 131-acre parcel, contains natural upland and wetland forest and several karst features.  

“This land holds a special place in my heart, and I am happy to see it preserved in this manner so future generations can enjoy a piece of Old Florida,” Revell said. 

The E. Guy Revell, Jr., Nature Trail Conservation Area is located at 198 Maplewood Drive in Crawfordville and will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset, seven days a week. The recreation site is free for all visitors.