Peak Summer Heat: Gravel Exploration – Chipley, Florida – Guaranteed Fun!

cycling in chipley florida
A wee bit of sand & washboard on the outskirts of Chipley

Chipley, Florida

“Chipley is a city in Washington County, Florida, United States. It is located between Tallahassee and Pensacola. Its population was 3,605 in the 2010 U.S. Census. Chipley is the county seat of Washington County. Originally called “Orange”, the city was renamed Chipley in 1882 for William Dudley Chipley, president of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad and Florida state senator from 1895 to 1897.” – Wikipedia.org

cycling in chipley florida
Historic railway station in Chipley, a former Amtrak stop. It may re-open?

“During the cold snap of January 1985, a temperature of 2 degrees was recorded at one of the town’s golf courses, making it the second-coldest Florida temperature ever recorded and the lowest January reading for the state. Chipley is next to Bonifay, Florida”.

cycling in chipley florida
Downtown Chipley, Florida

Peak Summer Heat Ride Experience Video

In this peak summer heat video, JOM of the Gravel Cyclist crew is joined by long-time mate, Todd, for a 80+ mile / 128km adventure through the hinterlands beyond the town limits of Chipley, Florida. A very diverse area to ride one’s bicycle, the course features close to 3,000 feet of elevation change over rolling terrain, and roads well exposed to the burning sun. Expansive tree cover is not a highlight of this route, ’tis best ridden during the cooler months in Florida. The route will be posted soon, see the Gravel Cyclist Routes page linked below.

cycling in chipley florida
A scene from Chipley, Florida

Other towns visited during this ride include Wausau, Vernon, Caryville, and Bonifay.

cycling in chipley florida
Washington County News, Downtown Chipley, Florida

Vernon, Florida

Vernon, Florida didn’t appear too interesting during our ride, but this morsel came to light courtesy of Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon,_Florida_(film)

vernon florida film

“Vernon is a city in Washington County, Florida. The population was 687 at the 2010 census; according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 estimates, the city had a population of 690. Vernon is named for George Washington’s Virginia home, Mount Vernon. The pioneer town was the site of a major Indian settlement. Vernon held the county seat until 1927 when the seat was moved to Chipley. Vernon became known as “nub city” in the 1950s and 1960s for a high number of limb loss insurance claims made in the area.”

vernon florida film
Weavers Coach Line, a highlight of downtown Vernon, Florida

Wausau, Florida

“Wausau is a town in Washington County, Florida, United States. The population was 383 at the 2010 census. Wausau is the “Possum Capital of the World” and celebrates annually with the Wausau Possum Festival, a celebration of the Virginia Opossum.”

wausau florida possum festival
Sadly, we missed the festival by a few hours

Caryville, Florida

“Caryville is a town in Washington County, Florida, located along the Choctawhatchee River. The population was 411 at the 2010 census. In July 1994, the Choctawhatchee River flooded and rose to a record level of 29 feet. The flooding submerged most of Caryville underwater. Due to the ‘buyout’ of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), many residents left. This departure left only about 200 residents in the town.”

cycling in washington county florida
On the road to Caryville
cycling in washington county florida
Relentless blazing heat & humidity

Bonifay, Florida

“Bonifay is a city in Holmes County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 2,793. It is the county seat of Holmes County. Bonifay was founded in 1882 when the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad was built across the Florida Panhandle and was named by P&A executive W. D. Chipley for Frank Bonifay, a member of a prominent family who had a brickmaking factory in Pensacola, where the P&A was headquartered. Frank Bonifay bought a stake in the P&A, which in 1891 was merged into the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which after several more mergers became part of CSX Transportation in 1986.

gravel cycling in western florida
Holmes County Courthouse

Additional Photos

cycling in washington county florida
Hydration was the theme of this ride
cycling in washington county florida
One of the few shaded roads along the route
cycling in washington county florida
Abandoned Farmhouse
cycling in washington county florida
JOM’s review bike, the Allied Echo
cycling in washington county florida
Road closed, time to re-route!

cycling in washington county florida

cycling in washington county florida
Cypress Grove Photo Op

cycling in washington county florida

gravel cycling in western florida

gravel cycling in western florida

gravel cycling in western florida
This road was rougher than the mixed-surface roads

gravel cycling in western florida

gravel cycling in western florida
10% to 12% gradient, deep gravel, in Florida
gravel cycling in western florida
Sinking into the gravel + steep gradient = walk time
gravel cycling in western florida
Just five miles to ride, and this sandpit
gravel cycling in western florida
Hoofin’ it
gravel cycling in western florida
Post-ride, we be very tired

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One thought on “Peak Summer Heat: Gravel Exploration – Chipley, Florida – Guaranteed Fun!

  1. Awesome pics JOM. I was born in Chipley and know all of those areas to some degree. Looks like I need to take a trip and do some riding. Thanks for all the great input.

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